THERE are mixed feelings about the inaugural National Women’s League that will be launched at Safa House on Thursday.
The league will comprise 12 teams and all will be in action for the big kick off this coming weekend, which will be hosted at the Pimville’s Nike Centre, Soweto, on Saturday and Sunday.
Teams from Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape are set to flood Joburg by tomorrow to prepare for their ground-breaking weekend matches.
SunSport has been informed that Safa has committed themselves to taking care of transport and accommodation for the first two weekends in Gauteng and Cape Town.
They will then review the costs before deciding whether they should give the teams monthly grants, or they will continue paying for them every weekend when there are games.
The teams are booked to stay at Safa’s Fun Valley for this weekend.
SunSport has also caught up with some of the players who will be participating in the league. Some were excited while others said they will believe it when it happens.
Safa are under pressure to start such a league to prove that they care about women’s football, especially now that they are vying for the rights to host the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
Fifa will, on 3 September, dispatch the bidding and hosting documents, which will include updated detailed hosting requirements, to bidding member associations like Safa. They will, on 13 December, submit bid book, the signed hosting agreement and all other hosting and bidding documents.
The inspection visits are scheduled for early next year while the appointment, or announcement of the winning bidder, is expected to be made in May next year.
Banyana Banyana veteran Noko Matlou, who will be playing for First Touch Academy in the Women’s League, said her team are looking forward to the new challenge.
“We want to make an impact,’ said the Banyana star defender.
“There is a lot of excitement in the team. This is a big step that the association has taken. It will not only help us as players, but it will also help our national teams to have the best players who are used to competing.”
However, one player who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being victimised, said her club will only believe it when they play on Saturday.
She said: “To be honest, we have been excited for far too long. Remember in 2017 during the championships in Mpumalanga, we were told that we will have the league by April 2018?
“Last year they said January, in January it was moved to April and in April it was August. So now we will see on Saturday.”
Durban Ladies captain Zinhle Shazi said people should expect a competitive team as they have grown from the team that participated in Sasol league National Champs in December last year.
Shazi said: “Excitement is the order of the day in our team. But come Saturday, we will put that on the side and show what we capable of.
“We are transformed, not the same inexperienced team that we were last year.”