South Africa: National Team Selectors Impressed With Talent At Regional U19 Championship

National team selectors impressed with talent at Regional U19 championship The recently-ended SAFA Regional Women's Under 19 championship that took place in Kroonstad, Free State provided the national team coaches with an opportunity to scout for new talent.

The national team coaches who attended the tournament included Joseph Mkhonza (Banyana Banyana), Sheryl Botes (U20 women's national coach/Basetsana), Anna Monate (assistant coach of the U17 women's national team/Bantwana) and SAFA's acting Technical Director and head of women's football, Fran Hilton-Smith.

All coaches admitted that the standard of football among women had greatly improved so was the standard of coaching.

"I think the overall standard is improving. The fact that KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga made it to the last four for the first time shows the contribution this league is making towards women's football.

"The amount of time put into training these girls is the reason why there is so much improvement. But we would need to mentor some of the coaches to get more interactive during the matches," said Mkhonza.

The SAFA Regional Women's League, funded by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust, has been key in the development of women's football.

Basetsana head coach Sheryl Botes, who is also the head coach at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, was equally impressed with the talent on display at the regional women's championship.

She said she had identified players that could make a contribution to the Basetsana squad that would participate in the World Cup qualifiers.

"Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal haven't done well in previous tournaments and it was good to see them reach the semi-finals. This goes to show the standard of football is improving at the developmental level.

"I have seen several young girls that can be brought to the academy in Pretoria and others who can play a pivotal role for both Bantwana and Basetsana squads," said Botes.

The recently-ended SAFA Regional Women's Under 19 championship that took place in Kroonstad, Free State provided the national team coaches with an opportunity to scout for new talent.

The national team coaches who attended the tournament included Joseph Mkhonza (Banyana Banyana), Sheryl Botes (U20 women's national coach/Basetsana), Anna Monate (assistant coach of the U17 women's national team/Bantwana) and SAFA's acting Technical Director and head of women's football, Fran Hilton-Smith.

All coaches admitted that the standard of football among women had greatly improved so was the standard of coaching.

"I think the overall standard is improving. The fact that KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga made it to the last four for the first time shows the contribution this league is making towards women's football.

"The amount of time put into training these girls is the reason why there is so much improvement. But we would need to mentor some of the coaches to get more interactive during the matches," said Mkhonza.

The SAFA Regional Women's League, funded by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Trust, has been key in the development of women's football.

Basetsana head coach Sheryl Botes, who is also the head coach at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, was equally impressed with the talent on display at the regional women's championship.

She said she had identified players that could make a contribution to the Basetsana squad that would participate in the World Cup qualifiers.

"Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal haven't done well in previous tournaments and it was good to see them reach the semi-finals. This goes to show the standard of football is improving at the developmental level.

"I have seen several young girls that can be brought to the academy in Pretoria and others who can play a pivotal role for both Bantwana and Basetsana squads," said Botes.

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