Ellis: SAFA Women’s League a good start…

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The inaugural SAFA National Women’s League (SNWL) didn’t go without glitches and Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis admits that it is a good start as South African women’s football finally has a structure where the best teams battle with each other throughout the season.

But, according to Ellis, there is still a great deal to be done as the league experienced some teething problems in its first-ever season, from teams travelling 1000 km to compete, to match officials not pitching up for games or arriving late.

“Let me say it is a good start, but certainly not where we want to be – it is, without doubt, a step in the right direction,” said Ellis.

“It’s a shame that a few matches were postponed due to some challenges that we could have perhaps avoided – like the non-arrival of match officials, or their late arrival, or even not booking fields – but these were teething problems that we had to deal with and we are wiser now,” Ellis. Picture: SAFA.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies were crowned champions of the 2019/20 SNWL campaign, with Tshwane University of Technology Ladies (TUT) took second place, while Bloemfontein Celtic makes up the top three

Limpopo side Ma-Indies and Gauteng-based JVW FC have been promoted to the SNWL for next season.

“In the beginning, I was very impressed with the intensity of the matches, but unfortunately many teams folded by the wayside as the season progressed. We also had matches that had some very big scores and, but that’s not always great for the game,” added the Banyana coach.

“So many young players coming through and holding their own impressed me – it is something worth getting excited about and shows the talent we have in this country.

“I was also able to monitor players consistently but then teams played home and away matches and it became very difficult to follow all the players and teams,” – Ellis. Picture: SAFA.

“Later in the season, there was a clear lack of quality and conditioning amongst some teams and this was evident with the big scores in matches.

“The games between the top teams had great intensity, a lot of quality and a joy to watch. I am certain that many teams are already planning for the new season and want to put up a better showing and challenge Mamelodi Sundowns for the title,” concluded Ellis.

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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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