Which Women’s Football Teams Should Play In SAFA’s Proposed National Women’s League? By Cheryl Roberts

4 Oct

durban ladies 

SAFA knows it must develop and advance women’s football. SAFA also knows it must establish a national league for women’s football. SAFA has announced, over a year ago, such intentions to kick off this inaugural national women’s league, sometime in 2019.

According to SAFA, the organisation has given consideration to format of such a national structure and women’s football competition.


This is my proposal about team composition and structuring of the inaugural edtion of the NWL………

  1. It should be a 16 team league
  2. Teams should be wild carded or given preferential selection into the NWL based on their existence, league championship wins and national playoff results in women’s football in SA
  3. In my opinion, these are the teams that should be wildcarded: Mamelodi Sundowns, Bloemfontein Celtic and Cape Town Roses. This is because over the past 5 years, it’s these teams that have consistently won the provincial leagues in their provinces and whom have performed in the top three at the national play offs
  4. Included in these wildcarded selections should be TUT, the consistent champions of tertiary sport over the past 5 years and Durban Ladies, the serial champions of provincial league in KZN who also have a consistent top 5 finish at the national play offs
  5. Note that I’m not recommending teams like Mamelodi Sundowns or Bloemfontein Celtic because they are PSL connected teams but because of their championship feats and results. They are champion teams; they stand as champions outside of their PSL connection
  6. Another team to be playing in the NWL should be a SAFA high performance team because the girl footballers based at high performance need to be playing competitive football, not just training. They are South Africa’s future senior international footballers and should be getting priority national competition
  7. Thus far we have 6 teams, according to my format. Who should make up the other 10 places?
  8. That should be accorded to provincial league winers of 2018. This will ensure that all nine provinces are represented in this national women’s league
  9. Which should be the 16th team? As the Gauteng league is said to be the most competitive league in SA, this should be accorded to a top three Gauteng league team of 2018
  10. This will give the league structure 16 teams to kick off the inaugural national women’s football league. Most importantly, this national league will have strength across the board. These are SA’s top and quality women’s football teams; they have been in existence for many years.



At the completion of this provincial year’s leagues, there’s going to be a scenario in some provinces where the league is going to be won by a team that hasn’t consistently won the provincial league and done nothing much at the national playoffs, but will get to play in the inaugural national league because they are 2018 league champions. Then there’s the scenario of the tertiary champions, won this year by University of Johannesburg. But it’s TUT who are the serial tertiary women’s football champions in both USSA competitions and Varsity Cup. Then there’s the scenario of a team like Cape Town Roses, one of your top national playoff teams at the national play offs since 2013, not winning the Western Cape provincial league this year because the club is concentrating on skills development of girl footballers,instead of winning the provincial league and being in the inaugural edition of the NWL, despite having won the Western Cape provincial league 7 out of 8 times.



I’m giving these examples of champion teams missing out whilst those who took one chance this year of being included, to show how SAFA needs to interrogate what is best to ensure strength and quality and healthy competition in the first edition of the proposed NWL. Also, why does SAFA want to insist on having this men’s PSl connection when the women’s football teams exist and have been there all these years? Now you want some women’s football teams to hurriedly link up with some PSL club so they can get entry into the NWL!

The teams I have mentioned who should be wildcarded into the NWL, together with the 2018 provincial league champions, should provide a highly competitive, tough and challenging first of-its-kind national women’s football league in SA. Teams that have shown their playing mettle over the years will be there, including the provincial champions and SA’s future internationals in the team that will represent SAFA’s high performance. What more could an inaugural national women’s football league ask for?

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