30 May 2019

South Africa: Former Champions On a Mission in KZN Sasol League

Planning, intense preparation and sheer hunger - hallmarks of 2017 KwaZulu-Natal Sasol League champions Sunflower WFC, who are on a mission to reclaim former glories.

Founded in 1996, the Hammarsdale-based team have won five games from five starts with an impressive goal difference of +24 and mean business this time around, after finishing in third position last year.

SAFA.net had the privilege of chatting to the founder, chairman and head coach of the club, Mr Siyabonga Malinga, a man of many talents and the glue that holds the club together.

Malinga offered valuable insights into the team's current successful run as well as his ambitions and keys to success.

The charismatic owner first reflected on seasons gone by.

"We were crowned champions in 2017 and hoped to build on that last season. Unfortunately, we had to endure many injuries as well as having our U17 and U20 players move back and forth between us and national camps. We had many players who represented our nation in the U17 world cup in Uruguay, including the likes of Sphumelele Shamase. We were proud but their absence hurt the club and we ended third in 2018," stated Malinga.

On the current run of victories, Malinga revealed what makes the club tick.

"Most of our girls have been with us for five to ten years now and hence they know our systems, structure and philosophies. Also, our girls are very hungry for success but a key ingredient was a proper six week pre-season. We had a tournament in Swaziland in March where we played against Manzini Wanderers, Young Buffalos and an U15 Boys team. This was key to our conditioning and fitness," he said.

He also added that the team aims to win every home game while at the very minimum drawing away matches so that they can eventually win and be a part of the proposed national league.

The boss stated that he also impressed by the MYSAFA registration system.

"It is simply the best system! You can easily access and check various details and solve queries very fast. Also, the system now ensures there is no cheating," Malinga said.

Another feather in the cap is the FIFATV YouTube documentary video (The #FIFAWWC EFFECT | South Africa), where Malinga chats about the development of women's football, which has already gained thousands of hits.

The team recently thumped Umlazi Arsenal 9-0 in a COSAFA Cup curtain-raiser and are next in action at home to Tottenham Ladies this Saturday, 1 June at 13h00.

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