Coaching at national level shouldn’t be a gender issue- Mokae
Former Banyana Banyana defender, Simphiwe Masina agrees that women footballers respond better to male coaches than female ones. The assertion was made by Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala. Speaking to Kaya Sport last week, Tshabalala said “I’m not saying the ladies coaches are bad. But what I’m saying is that when the ladies are coached by a male coach, I think there’s more respect there. When there’s a female coach coaching them, they feel like she’s more like us, she’s not gonna tell us anything” And Masina agrees saying that coaching positions shouldn’t be filled on gender but on one’s the ability to do the job. Masina, who was part of the squad that qualified for the first Olympic Games, believes that players give more when coached by a man, than a woman.
Tshabalala comments have brought yet more consenting voices out of the woodwork because, although he prefers to focus on experience rather than gender, TUT women’s coach, Tebogo “Coolio” Mokae seems to agree. Coolio believes some of the female coaches that are in the national structures have not been placed there on merit alone. Mokae suggests that although these coaches have formal qualifications, they don’t have the experience required to lead national teams. “If we want to push the gender issue, then the male coach that is doing well must be roped into the team, not as a head coach but at least get him to assist and push them to the level they want to get to,” he says. “We are divided. At the end of the day, we are all South Africans and would like to see South Africa do better. But if we say this one must coach and the other mustn’t because of gender, then we won’t go anywhere,” he explains.
Mokae, who has led TUT to four consecutive Varsity Football and four USSA titles, says he doesn’t look as far as being appointed in the national teams. He says his priority is the university team. TUT are currently fighting to win the Gauteng Sasol League. “The team comes first, if the national team needs me, I will go but I don’t look that far. I know how things are at the moment, it’s going to be impossible for me to get there. I don’t want to break my heart and hope that I will coach there. If it happens that I get to coach the national team, I will do my best,” he tells.
For now though, Mokae is content with coaching TUT but realises that winning the Gauteng Sasol League will be a tough task with university students. With yearend exams approaching, Mokae’s players have to pay more attention to their studies yet they must also deal with high pressure football because it’s crunch time in the Sasol League. Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Palace Super Falcons and JVW are the other teams chasing the Gauteng title.