The South African Football Association still views the annual Sasol National Women’s League as a strong breeding ground for future talent for the senior national team Banyana Banyana, and other junior women’s national teams.
The weeklong event will be staged in Polokwane later this month featuring all the nine provincial winners. This year’s draw of the national play-offs was conducted at the SAFA headquarters in Johannesburg today.
We are live at SAFA House for the @SasolLeague National playoffs draw.
— SAFA.net (@SAFA_net) October 3, 2022
The tournament will run from the 17th to the 23rd of October. The nine participating teams have been divided into two groups.
— Official SasolLeague (@SasolLeague) October 3, 2022
The two top finishers in each group will gain promotion to the Hollywood bets Super League. For the first time, the two bottom finishers in the Hollywoodbets League will be relegated.
The winners of the two groups will contest the final on the last day of the tournament to determine the overall winner.
Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis says all the players playing abroad came from Sasol League.
“When you look at all the players who are playing abroad they’ve come through the Sasol league. You look at the players that are in the junior teams in Banyana, they have come through this Sasol League. So, Sasol has given them the opportunity. They live by the slogan, live the impossible because nothing is impossible. It’s another opportunity for players to showcase. It is another opportunity for players to raise their hands and may the best team win.”
SAFA vice-president, Linda Zwane says an integral part of Vision 2022 was to grow women’s football in the country and the only challenge going forward is to professionalise women’s football in South Africa.
“I think the first step we are done with it. We are happy and out of the happiness, it means we have to plan now the next step which is professionalising but making sure that the pipeline is consistent in producing teams and players that can be better selected for the national teams. We are not only talking about Banyana, but we are talking with all the national teams that we have for women and I think that is the plan going forward.”
Sasol have been backing women’s football in the country for the past 13 years and sees women’s football as part and parcel of their brand.
Sasol Brand Manager, Nozipho Mbatha says the biggest accolade for women’s football in South Africa was the crowning of Banyana Banyana as African champions in July.
“Yes, and we are so proud of what Banyana has managed to achieve, and through their work and dedication and all their achievements, our biggest hope is that other women footballers are able to see what’s possible when you put in the hard work and that’s why we have the Sasol League. Because you have to start somewhere and with the Sasol League the players are young they are still nurturing their talent.”
For the first time this year, the competition will have two tertiary institutions at the same time. On day two TUKS Ladies from Gauteng will face the Central University of Technology FC from the Free State province……
All group matches will be played at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
The final will be played at the iconic new Peter Mokaba Stadium on the 23rd of October.