Sunflower players ready to represent KZN at Sasol

2017-11-23 10:31
Proud players of successful women’s club Sunflower FC (from left) Nokulunga Ntombela, Ntombifuthi Ngwenya, Nelisiwe Luthuli and skipper Xolisile Mnikathi.

Proud players of successful women’s club Sunflower FC (from left) Nokulunga Ntombela, Ntombifuthi Ngwenya, Nelisiwe Luthuli and skipper Xolisile Mnikathi. (Supplied)

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Banyana Banyana: Five things to know about the new Cosafa champions

2017-09-28 10:51

South Africa's women's soccer team, Banyana Banyana, triumphed over their Zimbabwean opponents in a tough Cosafa Championship final on Sunday. Here are some little-known facts about the national women's team. Watch. WATCH

Hammarsdale women’s football team Sunflower FC will carry the hopes of KwaZulu-Natal when they make their maiden appearance in the Sasol League National Championships in Mpumalanga next month — and head coach Siyabonga Malinga is relishing the challenge.

Sunflower recently won the provincial Sasol League for the first time by finishing top of the table, beating eight-time champions Durban Ladies to the honour.

The Sasol League takes place across all nine provinces, with the top teams qualifying for the national championships at the end of the year.

The youthful Sunflower side won 24 of their 30 league matches, losing on only two occasions and drawing four times.

Their two defeats came at the hands of Pietermaritzburg-based side MUBS and Durban’s Tiger Girls in their opening two games before they embarked on an incredible 28-game unbeaten run.

Speaking to The Witness on Wednesday, 44-year-old coach Malinga said: “It’s a big achievement for us. We have never made it this far in the competition and to achieve it the way we did was really special.

“The club has been in existence for 21 years, so this is quite big for us, considering that we have a young team. Our youngest player Banele Madondo is 12 years old.

“We’ve got senior players in the team who have never made it to national level, so we’re really honoured and privileged to represent the province.”

The national competition will take place in Nelspruit from December 4 to December 9. 
Gauteng’s Bloemfontein Celtic are the defending champions.

Malinga added: “I know there’s a lot of expectation now. But to us, this is a platform to develop our players and we will use this rare opportunity to showcase their talents. Obviously not all of them have been afforded an opportunity to showcase what they are made of. Winning the national tournament would be a bonus for us.”

The team from KZN have been drawn in Group A with De Scorpions from North West and Cape Town Roses.

The overall winners of the competition will receive R200 000 in prize money.

Meanwhile, the KZN club’s twin players, Sphumelele and Thubelihle Shamase, as well as Yolanda Nduli and Yenzokuhle Ngubane, have been named in a provisional South African squad for the U17 Women’s Soccer World Cup qualifiers to be held in Botswana next month.

Group A: De Scorpions (NW), Sunflower FC (KZN), Cape Town Roses (WC)
Group B: Coal City (Mpumalanga), RC Mills (NC), Thunderbirds (EC)
Group C: Sundowns (Gau), Celtic (FS), Kanatla (Lim)

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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