New chief set to rumble

Newly elected Safa Nelson Mandela Bay president Simpiwe Mkhangelwa is ready to roll up his sleeves and set the ball rolling better for football in the metro. Picture: Brian Witbooi.

After only a week in office, newly elected Safa Nelson Mandela Bay president Simpiwe Mkhangelwa has rolled up his sleeves in preparation for the work ahead. Mkhangelwa, 44 was voted in as the president early this month at a Safa NMB annual general meeting which took place at the Mandela Bay Stadium.

He takes over from Monde Mthleywa, who has now relocated to Cape Town due to work.

With a four-year term at the helm, the former owner of Motherwell side Tomorrow Stars says the work starts now.

Mkhangelwa’s main plan is to see to it that the running of local football associations (LFAs) in the Bay is on par. He believes stable LFAs will make the region strong.

“In the metro we have different challenges, but on my side I would like a situation where we capacitate LFAs, especially the leadership, because the region is made up of the LFAs. So, if they are not stable or strong for sure the region will not be strong either,” he said.

“Also, there are four pillars that I am looking at as far as football is concerned generally – the issue of the leadership, coaches, referees and administration.

“To me, if those pillars are strong then they will make football interesting for those young boys and girls.

“Because whatever the players will need as far as administration is concerned, it is going to be sound.

“Leadership, coaching and referees because if the referees are not good the coaches can do their level best but on the field of play bad refereeing could spoil it.

“If the leadership are strong and capacitated they will know exactly what they want going forward as far as football is concerned.”

MK, as he is known in football circles, said members of these pillars should also be capacitated so that they knew what they had to do.

“What we are looking at here is the development of football. If the people who are guarding those players know their story then to me life will be easy. “One of the biggest challenges that we are faced with is the issue of reporting.

“At times we can lead but if you can’t report back to the membership, to me that is where the capacitation is needed big time.”

Mkhangelwa believes the organisation is sound at the moment. However, he does not want a situation where he leaves the region in a lower position than were it is now when his term is over .

He said his main aim was to see to it that LFAs were sustainable and able to source sponsorships for themselves.

“Once I know the LFAs are sound as far as finances are concerned and the running of football, then I will be happy.

“I will know that I have left something that will be sustainable going forward, even if I am not there anymore.”

When it comes to women’s football, the former Motherwell Local Football Association president said his plan was to see to it that all LFAs in the region had women teams.

“There is a league already in the region for women’s football but we also want a league that will be run by the LFAs because there are few LFAs that have women’s football.

“So, we want to encourage LFAs to have women’s soccer because as a region that is where we source everything.”

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