There were challenges we faced- Thina Mbuli
The inaugural SAFA National Women’s League kicked off last year and the season could not be finished which resulted in Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies team being crowned the champions after twenty-two games played. One side that showed that they can compete in the competition was the University of the Western Cape, they finished in position six with thirty points.
Coach Thina Mbuli took some time out and spoke to us about the season that they had and what it meant to her side playing in the competition.
“It was my first year with the team, also the first season of the SNWL, we had to make few changes and sign few players to balance the team, But we didn’t start well, we drew our first four games and that was just our problem the whole season, we drew eight games that we were not supposed to”.
The SNWL is in the foundation phase and there were challenges that were encountered and that is something that Coach Mbuli alluded in the conversation.
“There were challenges we faced for instances in away games, sometimes players had to skip Friday afternoon classes so that we can travel early, for – Saturday match. Also, the match officials issues where you find out that, its either they are late or they are just two at the game. There was no proper marketing or branding of the league”.
Football in the whole world has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and that is something that derailed the SNWL. With the draft fixtures out for the new season which is scheduled to start in March. how the mother body is going to manoeuvre around this pandemic it is still a challenge that must be faced so the games can be played.
“The first Lockdown affected us a lot, the team was starting to gel, players were starting to understand exactly how we want them to play. lockdown again, we couldn’t start our Pre Season, we are hoping that the FA, will push back the dates so that we can all prepare well. It’s been too long without training or playing as teams, we will need a proper pre-season”.
It’s good that we have a draft fixture, we know who, we will start against, that will also help us to plan accordingly, But it’s been a year we will expect few changes from other teams, just like us. What will be important, is that we start well, better than the previous season”.