SAFA Ilembe has unveiled a 7-point plan to uplift football in our district in 2016 and make it the best run affiliate of SAFA KwaZulu Natal.
Hlelizwe “Happyboy” Mhlongo (president of SAFA Ilembe), speaking to the Stanger Weekly Sports Editor said: “Our main focus will be on capacity building for coaches and referees. These programmes will involve school football coaches and referees as well as community clubs football coaches and referees with the aim of increasing the number of referees who qualify to officiate in the professional leagues such as PSL as well as NFD.
“Secondly, we want to increase the number of under 13s; under 15s and U17’s in both genders, males and females, by engaging schools in our programmes with the special focus in these age categories so that we get more football development at young ages. Thirdly, increasing the number of women football teams participating in the Local and Regional Leagues.
“We successfully hosted the Nedbank provincial tournament at the Mandeni Sports Ground as well as the SALGA Games in 2015. Building from these successes, we wish to host the SAB League Provincial playoffs for the 2016/2017 season since Harry Gwala was awarded to host the 2015/2016 SAB League Playoffs last year.
“We also wish to introduce the knockout competition to the SAB League teams with the sponsor still to be confirmed. But, we have high hopes that the competition will get a sponsor since it is important for the SAB League teams to have a regional knockout competition directed to the SAB League teams as participants.
“One of our main objectives is to get the number of schools participating in football increasing in this year, 2016. The school’s football calendar will be exposed to every school within the Ilembe District and a follow-up will be done to ensure that all schools have a copy and are actively involved.
“Finally, as SAFA Ilembe Region we are committed in ensuring that football is played in all corners of the Ilembe Municipality. We will ensure that we strengthen our partnership with all the stake-holders.”