While the South African senior women’s national team are in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe for the regional Cosafa senior women’s challenge, the door remains open for the Varsity Women’s Football ladies players to make an impression.
There are many challenges facing women’s football in South Africa. There is no professional women’s football league and that is a big challenge that the South African Football Association faces. But Varsity Football is playing its part by introducing the ladies format of the game.
This year is no different as hundreds of aspiring professional ladies players will take to the pitch to represent their teams. The eight universities that will be taking part in the women’s competition are TUT, UP-Tuks, UWC, UFS, UCT, NWU, CUT and UJ.
While the spotlight has been on the gentlemen’s game for the past eight weeks, it’s time to shift the focus towards the ladies. With the men’s action on hold as the two finalists, TUT and Tuks, are still preparing for the big kick-off on 28 September, the ladies tournament is expected to start with a bang on Thursday.
TUT ladies are back and stronger than ever as they bid to win their fourth title. It’s also a good idea to stage a festival as all the matches will be played in one venue at the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground in Potchefstroom. TUT are the book maker’s favourites to walk away with the record-extending fourth title. But while their expected triumph is good, it’s also a big concern for the women’s teams across the country.
Are they simply too good for the other teams or are they faced with weak competition? These are some of the questions that the football fanatics are asking themselves ahead of the eagerly awaited kick off. It would be good to see progress from last year’s tournament. Lack of game time and lack of infrastructure in women’s football prevents it from being exposed fully and as a result we end up seeing tennis scores during their matches.
It would be great to see tight matches and an entertaining brand of football. Not the type of matches where teams are being hammered left, right and centre. This is a humble plea for our beloved ladies to give it their all and leave everything on the field of play.
Credit should go to Varsity Football organisers for their careful planning which resulted in only the women’s competition being played this week – with all attention on them. All that we are asking of our ladies is to give us a spectacle in return for being given this platform and opportunity to showcase their God-given talent.
TUT has to be given a run for their money and they shouldn’t be allowed just to pitch up and collect the trophy. Let the games begin and hopefully people will turn out in their numbers to support this great initiative.
By Charles Baloyi – Daily Sun and Sunday Sun sports writer