Witsies hope to help secure first U20 Cosafa women’s trophy for South Africa

Five Wits Women’s Football players have been chosen to be part of the Basetsana national team, which will play in the first Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s U20 Championships this year.

The championships will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, from 1-11 August 2019.

Wits Women’s Football players Ayanda Ncube and Lebohang Ntabeni will be among the defenders in the squad. Other members of the team include Shakeerah Jacobs, who will play forward, and Robyn Coetzee and Spheshile Dlamini, who will be among the goalkeepers.

“It’s about time we had such a tournament for that age group,” said Wits Women’s Football head coach Nthabeleng Modiko.

She said it will help raise the playing level of women’s football in the country from a younger age.

Basetsana will be pooled with Zimbabwe, Namibia and Malawi in Group A and will play their matches at Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

First-year BA general student Coetzee said she has confidence in the team and looks forward to the “challenging” meeting with Namibia on Saturday, August 3, as they are an “aggressive team”.

“We can definitely win the tournament. Most of the [Basetsana] players have experience, so they know how to present themselves,” Jacobs, a BA general student, said.

Playing in the U20 tournament will be the first time BA general students Ncube and Ntabeni will play at national level.

Ntabeni hopes to play consistently on the field.

“We need to expose ourselves to more teams and bring some of that experience back home,” she said.

Dlamini, a grade 11 learner at Fons Luminis Secondary School, is one of the youngest members of the Wits Women’s Football first team. Modiko described her as “gutsy” and an asset to Basetsana.

“Ultimately, I would like them to realise they will be taught by the best coaches in the country, so they need to believe in themselves,” Modiko said.

U20 Basetsana coach Simphiwe Dludlu said: “The team will be playing at a higher level and need to keep their head up, even if it gets tough.”

Dludlu said if the players are willing to learn, have a great attitude and work well together, they will have an edge over the other teams.

FEATURED IMAGE: Forward Shakeerah Jacobs, goalkeeper Robyn Coetzee and defender Lebohang Ntabeni, hope to win the Cosafa trophy for South Africa. Photo: Ntombi Mkandhla