THE Eastern Cape women’s football team will jet off to Germany in May under the provincial government’s Department of Sport and Recreation- Lower Saxony international exchange programme.
A squad of 15 football players selected from women’s soccer teams in all seven regions of the province will play in mini tournaments against German teams.
The Nelson Mandela Bay region is represented by New Brighton-based provincial Sasol Women League championship winners City Lads players Anelisa Ndyebi, Nwabisa Kolisi, Phakama Duru and Nosiphiwo Bottoman, as well as Jessi Haitley from Mustang.
The initiative forms part of the agreement of understanding signed by the Eastern Cape Department of Sport and the State of Lower Saxony in Germany in 2005.
Both the Eastern Cape and Lower Saxony have hosted several sporting events such as amateur boxing, hockey, handball, rugby and athletics tournaments since the inception of the partnership.
A delegation of football representatives consisting of Nelson Mandela Bay women’s football administrator Nomalungelo Booi, coach Douleen Whitebooi and Joe Gqabi women’s soccer team coach Nontuthuzelo Mona visited Germany in 2011 to study their women’s football culture.
Safa Eastern Cape secretary Isaac Klaas said the tour to Germany would allow the players who were not in the national team set-up (Banyana Banyana) an opportunity to showcase their talent abroad. “We are every excited about this opportunity given to our players indeed this is a good initiative by our government because it gives our players an opportunity to test their strength against some of the best players in the world.”
Klaas said the team was selected during the Premier Cup games held in Port Elizabeth last year.
The coach will have a special training programme with the team at a later stage.
The team will leave on May 13 and return on May 24. – Mthetho Ndoni