Skheshe Mkhonza hell-bent on growing women’s football

Former Banyana Banyana and current Springs Home Sweepers Women’s team coach Joseph ‘Skheshe’ Mkhonza is determined to do his bit to help grow women’s football, particularly in KwaTsaDuza, because, he says, not much is being done in that regard.

This is the reason why his club has come up with a curtain raiser innovation for all its Sasol League home games, where four women’s teams will play against each other in the build up to the main game. It will be case again this Sunday at the Kwa-Thema Stadium, as Tsakane Ladies, two Duduza-based teams, Mom Sebone Secondary School and Masututsa, as well as the Home Sweepers Under-17 team, will face off in a mini-tournament as a precursor to the Home Sweepers senior team’s league game against Kempton Park-based Palace Super Falcons.

Mkhonza says this initiative is to help expose the women’s teams from around the area so as to promote women’s football. “There are many schools that have girls’ football, so every time when we play our home games we’re going to invite different women’s teams so that we give them the opportunity to also be encouraged, because the more they play at stadiums and play against others, on a ladies-only day, they become encouraged to continue and they realize that they can do it and reach Banyana Banyana.

“Because we’re also going to invite the coaches of the [national] Under-17 and Under-20 teams, as well as Banyana Banyana, when they are available, so they could identify players,” explains Mkhonza.

Mkhonza also says they wish to extend the curtain raiser innovation to a women’s-only tournament that will comprise of not only KwaTsaDuza teams, but also those from other parts of Ekurhuleni. That tournament, he says, will be hosted between the three stadiums in Kwa-Thema, Tsakane and Duduza.

About this Sunday’s event, he says it will probably the last time they involve the Home Sweepers age-group team because they need to make space for other external teams, so as to give an opportunity to as many as possible. ”We’re also going to involve school teams because schools also have teams. Last week Thursday there were schools games called the Winter Games at the Sports Complex; I was there the whole day and I’ve seen that there’s plenty of talent, but now that talent needs to be nurtured and the children need to be encouraged, so that’s what we’re trying to do as a club.”