There is light at the end of the Hollywood bets tunnelThomas Kwenaite
By Andile Dladla and Mandla Dladla
There are a lot of professional men footballers who enjoy partnerships with sport apparel companies who provide them with free boots and leisure wear, but very few professional women enjoy the same privileges and most would like to see corporates treating them the same way as their men counterparts.
Granted, they might not enjoy the same publicity as the men, but the situation seems to be improving albeit at a very slow pace according to Nokuphumla “Purah” Mpatsiyane who is one of the best shot stoppers in the Hollywood bets Super League in the colours of Thunderbirds Ladies FC.
“Puma is leading the race because most of the Mamelodi Sundowns ladies team are sponsored with soccer boots and it is more of a motivation to some of us who want to see the game grow and more sponsors coming on board to support the women’s game.”
“Purah” as she is popularly known by her teammates has been one of the most outstanding goalkeepers in this present campaign and has already registered four clean sheets to her name in the season so far.
In the opening game of the season they played against Durban Ladies FC beating them 2-0 which gave her and her teammates motivation to keep pushing harder in the coming matches.
Although her contribution has been immense, she does not want to lap up the glory single handed and attributed her success more to team work than the contributions of a single individual.
“Our defence has to be given all the credit because we have established an understanding and have put in the work from training and our coaches always talk about the importance of covering each other and not conceding.
“I am a graduate that is looking for vacancies but I also love people, getting to know them and communicate with them. Football always comes first and stands out because it’s my first love”.
Footballers are known to be huge fanatics of the FIFA PlayStation game and it is no different with Mpatsiyane and her teammates. They are always challenging each other which helps them relax, have fun and most importantly get to know each other better as team-mates.
“Travelling is very costly for us especially when we play away matches and have to travel by bus. For example, travelling from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo is a very long trip due to the fact that by the time of arrival one truly exhausted and our legs are painful for sitting more than 10 hours.
“That usually affects us when we play the first half but eventually we push on as things tend to get better when we approach the second half. This is because by then we have regained our second wind have adjusted to the conditions and able to take the game to our opponents.
“There is very little we can do about the circumstances and it would be better once we get more corporate sponsors for the women league. It is much better when we travel by air like we do from time to time which is also a great experience and makes it easier for us to perform better.”
The competition this season has been very different from the previous one because all the teams came out prepared and play well.
There is a lot of improvement and growth in the women league this season and she hopes that it would continue to grow and hopefully attract more teams and sponsors which will be great for the nation.