Having been in existence for a little over four months, the Safa Women’s National League has already expanded its division from 12 to 14 teams, and will soon add two more teams to its line-up.
The latest additions to the league announced by Safa president Danny Jordaan on Thursday were Gauteng-based team JVW FC and Limpopo’s Ma-Indies who went head to head in the finals of the 2019 Sasol League National Championships.
The two teams had stellar performances in the lower division, which is made up of nine teams from all provinces. Its final was a thrilling affair, and JVW FC were crowned champions after they defeated Ma-Indies 2-0.
The winners of the Sasol league, JVW FC, were bolstered by the presence of former Banyana Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini in their ranks. She propelled them to the finals, having scored a hat trick in the match that the team won with 10-0 against Royal Wizards, who hail from the Northern Cape.
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk and founder of JVW FC said: “We are excited to be in the national league. We want to showcase what we are made of.”
The captain of Ma-Indies, Lebogang Ramalepe, expressed that she was in shock after her team made it to the final to play JVW FC and now even more so at making it into the women’s national division.
For her the aim was to not drop the ball.
“I was shocked and happy. All we need to do now is make sure that we keep playing the best we can. We need to be focused.”
Jordaan lauded the addition of the two teams saying: “This is just another indication of the fact that there is a bright future for women’s football in the country and on the continent, and these two teams enter this space at a very exciting time.”
“Congratulations to the two teams. We know that you are going to add to the competitiveness of this league,” he said.
Safa is looking to introduce two more teams to the women’s game.
“We are going to close the league at 16 teams. Once we have 16 teams we will start with promotion and relegation. We are here today to focus on that bridge which leads from provincial league to national, which these two teams have crossed,” said the Safa president.
He said the priority for the footballing association was to enhance the commercial strength of the league and to build a strong commercial brand of women’s football “because ultimately we want to generate greater revenue for women’s football”.
Jordaan said Safa was working towards making 2020 “a huge year for Banyana Banyana” and was hoping that the women’s team would qualify for both the next Afcon and 2023 World Cup.
Sasol group brand marketing manager, Nozipho Mbatha, said they were proud to be associated with the league.
“It’s yet another milestone in the growth and development of women’s football. Today we are celebrating two teams that have been promoted in the Safa women’s national league,” she said.
Mbatha said it was a privilege to witness both JVW and Ma-Indies progressing to this level.
“It is clear that South Africa’s best women’s teams are now moving into the national league therefore as Sasol we continue on our quest to develop women’s football and ensure that all women and girls receive all that is needed to play the sport. Congratulations to both teams and we wish them all the best,” said Mbatha.