WC Sasol League champs Vasco da Gama target national play-offs

The South African Football Association’s (SAFA) popular Sasol Women’s League has produced a scintillating season across the country as most provinces look to wrap up proceedings with national playoffs looming.

The Western Cape edition has proved to be one of the more competitive editions with as many as four teams in the running throughout the season.

However, it was none other than Vasco da Gama who managed to stand head and shoulders above the rest and emerge as deserving champions. A team that was formed in 1980 and whose men’s teams have done the club proud over the decades with a rich tradition and footballing ethos.

Playing within the Cape Town region under the Tygerberg LFA (Local Football Association), the team have come a long way in women’s football since their inaugural season in the Sasol League in 2014, culminating in a maiden title win.

SAFA.net had a rare opportunity to catch up with team manager and Executive Committee member Mr. Eddie Ribeiro, who offered his take on the successful season and goals for the future.

A former player for the club from a young age and involved ever since, the dedicated manager has seen it all. On the team’s performance this year, Ribeiro stated just how tough it was.

“We have a limited squad which was a challenge. It was tough against the likes of UCT and RV United but we came through in the end, fortunately. It has actually been a solid upward curve and progression as we finished ninth in our first season then seventh, fourth, third and are now champions,” he said.

Regarding his team’s secret to success, the manager put it down to a few key aspects.

“We have a well-organized unit in general, from the coaching staff to the players and administrators. The people involved come from different spheres and backgrounds and the mix of demographics actually works to our advantage. The team simply gives their all, are consistent and we also have two great coaches in Martin Le Roux and Nathan Peskin,” said Ribeiro.

Discussing the club’s goals, Ribeiro views the near future as a learning experience.

“We look forward to the national playoffs and are actually awaiting details on the event. It will be an exciting but unknown territory for us and a unique learning curve. A lot of our girls are students or working so it is tough but all we can focus on now is playing a few friendlies in November and prepare best we can,” added the manager.

The team has some truly talented players such as Kelso Peskin and Dani Clayford, who have scored the majority of the team’s goals this season. There is also the young Tiyana Carollissen who represented the U17 National Team (Bantwana) in the COSAFA Cup in Mauritius this year in which they won silver.

Ribeiro also had a message for the loyal fans out there.

“Please come and support us in our final game. We normally get a decent turnout so I am hopeful and we appreciate it. It would be a good way to end off before the play-offs. We also encourage fans to back us wherever the playoffs are held. It would be much appreciated,” concluded Ribeiro.

The team’s final game of the season will be held at Parow Park on Friday, 1 November at 20h00 against Ikamva United.

She Plays Central