Do female footballers prefer to be coached by men?
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach, Jerry Tshabalala reckons that players don’t show the same kind of respect for a woman coach as they do for a man. Tshabalala, who is one of the most successful women’s football coaches in the country, believes that this phenomenon is evident in both the SASOL League and Banayan Banyana. “If you look at Banyana’s track record, when Augy (Augustine Makalakalane and coach Joseph (Mkhonza) you could see there were results. The team was doing well. I’m not saying the ladies are bad but even if we can have a lady as a front runner, let’s have someone who’s coached in the Sasol League, even if it’s a male, ”says Tshabalala.
In 2014, SAFA president Danny Jordaan declared that it would be better that girls be coached by women, this was when they terminated Joseph Mkhonza’s employment to bring in Vera Pauw. Since SAFA decided that they would only employ female coaches for the national women’s teams, Banyana seem to have taken a step back in continental football. In her first year in charge, Pauw failed to bring back a medal from the Women’s Afcon and subsequently failed to qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup. Compare that with Mkhonza who lead Banyana to their first Olympics and beat Nigeria for the first time, while placing second at the 2012 Women’s AFCON (see figure 1). The Dutch born coach had a divided change room, which impacted the performance on the field.
Tshabalala suggests that if a female coach is assisted by a man at Banyana, the team could return to their glory days. “It would be best for national team selectors to rope in coaches from the Sasol League teams to help whoever is at the helm of Banyana. I’m not saying those that are there don’t have any idea (of what they are doing) but if you bring someone who works with the ladies in the Sasol League, it would be a boost for Banyana,” he says.
Kappa emphasizes that since the first Sasol League National Championship there has never been a female coach that has won the title. Tshabalala has won the championship twice with Banyana Ba Style and is hoping to bag it for the third time this year, should they win the Gauteng league. He came close to winning the title in 2010 while still with Mpumalanga’s Detroit Ladies, who lost to Palace Super Falcons in the final.
“It’s a must for us to win the league. We are not worried about the other teams. It would be the best result to win the league. We won in 2013 and 2015 but couldn’t defend it, it seems the odd years is when we get to win, it should be ours again this year,” he adds.
Andisiwe Mgcoyi and coach Jerry Tshabalala being playful ahead of a match.
Alochia Thobokela and Lerato Kgasago during a training session at Chloorkop.