SIX Port Elizabeth women football stars have been named in the Eastern Cape under-19 squad to play in the Safa Women’s National Championships to be held in Sasolburg, Free State, next month.
The players, who come from various local soccer teams affiliated to Safa Nelson Mandela Bay Women’s League, were selected in the provincial women’s tournament that washosted by Safa Amathole region at the Fort Hare University sports ground in Alice recently.
The Eastern Cape u-19 team won the tournament’s trophy in 2011 and are now hoping to reclaim it this year.
Provincial team manager Ntombekhaya Tose said the time had come to put the province back on the national map.
She said the provincial women’s team comprised 18 players from seven Eastern Cape regions.
“Six of those players come from the [Bay] metro region and they play for various local teams,” Tose said.
She said the team had not assembled yet but the plan was to organise a training camp for players to get to know each other and so that they could prepare for the tournament.
“Some of the players might be scouted by Sasol Women’s League clubs and the national teams’ officials,” Tose added.
Left winger Anelisa Ndyebi, 15, said she started playing football when she was eight years old.
“My aim is to bring back the experience of the tournament and use it as a tool to motivate my teammates.”
Goalkeeper Zandi Phillip, 17, said she started playing soccer as a striker but changed positions after she realised she was better suited to stopping goals.
“I want to play for Banyana Banyana in the near future,” she said.
Central midfielder Akhona Fatyi, 18, said she hoped they could win the trophy again.
Both Kristen Wentzel, 16, and Dané Natal, 18, said it was an honour for them to be selected and they shared the common goal of bringing the cup home.
The week-long tournament will run from August 4 to 9.