Established a decade ago, South Africa’s semi-professional Sasol League was brought about with the aim of growing the ladies’ game across all nine provinces and assisting in developing stars for national teams.
Ten years later the league has unearthed multiple Sasol League stars for the senior national team, who have experienced untold success, trophies and a first ever World Cup showing.
One particular province that has constantly produced top-notch talent as well as exciting leagues, is none other than Mpumalanga. Stream A seems to be heating up fairly nicely with most teams showing consistent form. The team to catch though is the Gert Sibande region’s Leandra Ladies FC, who belong to the popular Govan Mbeki Local Football Association (LFA).
With five solid victories from six completed matches, the club are gunning for a place in the brand-new National Women’s League next season. Speaking to SAFA.net, team owner Mr Elvis ‘Matsitse’ Phora shared his thoughts on the club’s season, objectives, thoughts on the women’s game and much more.
“Our players are scattered as they come from Vosloorus, Daveyton and other small places but they make time each and every day to train. We even train on Saturday’s when not playing. It’s all about hard work and commitment. We work on technical and tactical issues such as space, marking and pressing. Our coach John Maseko and assistant Lucky Papani are doing a good job,” he said.
He also stated that the short-term goal is to win the stream, the province and then the national play-offs, thus guaranteeing a spot in the national league. He also wishes to see his girls play in the national teams as well as for overseas clubs someday.
“We need to protect our girls from alcohol, drugs, school drop-outs and early pregnancies.” – Leandra Ladies team owner, Elvis Phora
However, if that task isn’t challenging enough, there are also financial considerations such as transport costs to games, food, equipment, referee costs, medical and more. Phora will not give up easily though and has many objectives for the club.
“We formed in May 2002 and have come a long way. We aim primarily to develop the community in Leandra but to do this we require stakeholder investment, caring companies and sponsors to come on board. We also try to conduct coaching clinics for the youth. Through soccer, we can instil self-discipline and respect. We need to protect our girls from alcohol, drugs, school drop-outs and early pregnancies,” added Phora.
The passionate boss also yearns for women’s football to be shown on television and for the women’s game to be taken more seriously by everyone. He urges fans, administrators and corporates to come on board, rally around and support all facets of the ladies’ game.
“We need other clubs to join the likes of Bloem Celtic and (Mamelodi) Sundowns in developing female clubs. Chiefs and Pirates doing so would be great for us all,” enthused Phora.
He also had a satisfactory comment on the MYSAFA registration system.
“It is a very good system and there is no need to physically go to SAFA House any longer. We can sort things out on our mobiles. It is of a very high standard and one can easily trace and track players. The Verifier App helps us out a lot too,” concluded Phora.
With key objectives firmly in place, keeping the community at heart and a solid overall plan to reach their goals, Leandra are most certainly on the right track and seem to be well on their way to realizing all their hopes and ambitions.
Photo 1 Caption: The Leandra Ladies squad who have completed five solid victories in six matches and are fighting to earn a spot in next season’s SAFA Women’s National League. Photo: SAFA.net
With editing by gsport