She is a football player – believe it!
“If you love something, work hard at it because you never know who is watching. Someone will eventually recognise your hard work and talent.”
These are the words of Tina Selepe, who is a central midfielder for Coal City Wizards in the inaugural South African Football Association (SAFA) National Women’s League.
Selepe became serious about her passion of football when she joined the High Performance Centre (HPC) at the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2005 when she was only 15. She hails from Newcastle. From 2005 to 2009 she played for the Super Falcons in the Sasol Women’s League. Interestingly, when Selepe started playing in the Sasol Women’s League in 2009 it was also an inaugural league at the time. She started playing for City Wizards in late 2018.
Selepe played in the Banyana Bayana U/17 and U/19 squads, she also played on and off in the main squad. She was playing alongside current captain Janine van Wyk and Refiloe Jane.
After eight wins, eight draws and six loses, City Wizards finished 5th in the in the inaugural SAFA Women’s League, the winners were Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. Two of those loses were against Sundowns Ladies, both of them were 4-1 defeats.
Selepe explains that the biggest problem they face as clubs is sponsorship, although it is improving.
“The two teams that have good sponsorship in the league, I would say, are Sundowns Ladies and Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies,” she said.
Selepe further went on to say one of the reasons clubs like Sundowns Ladies play well is because they train on a regular basis. On the other hand, they struggle to go to the training facilities sometimes because they do not have money to the training facilities.
Needless to say, Selepe is optimistic about women’s football in South Africa. She points to women like van Wyk who are doing well in international football clubs. In South Africa, she says, they tend to focus on younger talent. In the international teams she has seen – they want experience.
Picture: Tina Selepe