(Published - 18 January 2019)
The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has proudly produced five players in the recent 26-member Banyana Banyana squad.
Recently awarded African Women’s Player of the Year and 2018 African Goal Scorer of the Year, Thembi Kgatlana, who is with Houston Dash in Texas in the United States, tops the list. In addition there is Leandra Smeda who signed with Vittsj? GIK in Sweden this month, from Gintra University in Lithuania. The two are among the only six South African women footballers who have landed professional contracts abroad. South Africa will establish its first professional women’s league this year.
Other UWC representatives in the Banyana team are UWC Ladies FC former goal minder Kaylin Swart, who is with Menlo College in the US, while Lamar University (US) star Kelso Peskin and striker Jermaine Seoposenwe of JVW FC in Johannesburg complete the UWC-associated players.
UWC Director of Sport Administration, Mandla Gagayi, called on UWC staff, students, alumni, donors and Capetonians to get behind the team.
“Banyana Banyana is a national team, and as UWC we have contributed a lot to the nation in terms of sport. So we need to show support for all our national teams, especially women’s football. We need to show that football is not only for men - particularly given Banyana’s recent achievements,” said Gagayi.
“Secondly, lots of players in that Banyana team are products of UWC. We need to go and support our own alumni and show them that they will always be UWC.”
The South African Football Association has dedicated the friendly games to renowned South African women freedom fighters. The clash against ninth-ranked Sweden at 15h00 on Saturday is called the Winnie Mandela International Challenge. The encounter against the European champions and seventh-ranked Netherlands at 19h00 on Tuesday has been named the Albertina Sisulu Centenary Challenge.
Tickets are available from Computicket as well as Shoprite and Checkers stores - free of charge, only while stocks last. Bring along your identity document.