Winnies FC can’t wait to return to the field

Gugulethu’s Winnies FC

Things were slowly starting to get back to normal and the sports fields were becoming places to be again after little or no action last year, due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

And, as soon as “the coast was clear”, women’s football in the city, in the form of Safa’s Regional Women’s league, got the ball rolling, with matches coming thick and fast over the past few weeks.

This year’s women’s regional league was split into two streams, A and B, with nine and 10 teams respectively.

The matches went smoothly and teams were able to complete the first round of matches, with Mitchell’s Plain’s Hotspurs and FC Tafelzucht on top of the log.

All seemed well, and amateur football was back on track, albeit under a cloud of increased Covid-19 infections.

A number of Local Football Association, including Mitchell’s Plain LFA, however, pre-empted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s last address to the nation, by suspending all soccer in their districts.

Elsewhere, matches continued which resulted in the leaderboard being shaken up as defaulting teams forfeited potential points. This, of course, threw the league wide open as third- and fourth-placed teams now have a shot at moving to the top spot.

However, things came to a halt when Ramaphosa announced that the country was moving back to alert level four and, consequently, amateur sport was suspended for two weeks.

Following a Safa Cape Town Covid compliance meeting earlier this week, it seems as if soccer is likely to resume shortly, as the 14-day period is coming to an end. The leading sides will be left on the sidelines as their LFAs will continue their suspension of matches.

Gugulethu’s Winnies Women’s FC are now among those in with a shot at league honours. Coach Mqondisi “Jeffrey” Qhuma said they felt, just before the call to halt matches, that they stood a chance.

After 13 rounds of matches, the side found themselves in third spot in the Steam B standings. They have 25 points after winning seven, drawing four and losing two.

They scored 36 and conceded 30 in the process.

The other teams in their group were Mighty Ladies, Hotspurs, CPUT, Green Lovers, New Stars South End, UWC and Strandfontein.

“I really thought we stood a good chance of going all the way, especially considering that one of the strongest teams in our group, Hotspurs from Mitchell’s Plain, withdrew just before the president’s address.

“Another strong team Tafelzucht, also from Mitchell’s Plain, also withdrew. They were among the best teams in Stream A. So, with their withdrawal, we really fancied our chances,” said Qhuma.

This, he said, was because they knew that the absence of the two strong Mitchell’s Plain sides, would open the league up.

Qhuma said, despite the disappointment, they hoped that things would go back to normal and the league would resume. “For now we will wait for Safa to make a pronouncement on the matter.”

The NY49-based side’s last match was against Athlone’s South End at Rygate, two weeks ago. The match was abandoned with the score at 1-all, following an on-field scuffle.

“I don’t know what is going to happen in that match, whether the sides will share the points or whether Safa will order a replay. We will have to wait and see,” said Qhuma.

“We were in good form going to that match, the day before, as Saturday, we beat CPUT 2-0 at their homeground. So, we’re looking forward to getting good results from that game,” he said.