Botes eager to get a kick out of top Caf appointment
CAPE TOWN – Former Basetsana (SA Under-20 women) coach Sheryl Botes has been appointed by Caf (Confederation of African Football) as a women’s football instructor.
Botes will work with instructors in the Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) region which includes countries such as Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
She becomes only the second South African to be appointed to the post since the trailblazing Fran Hilton-Smith who has held positions at the highest levels of the game, including Fifa (International Federation of Association Football).
Botes presently heads up women’s coaching at the SAFA (South African Football Association) Girls Soccer Academy based at the High Performance Centre (HPC), in Pretoria. Her CAF appointment will not result in her leaving her appointment at the academy.
There is no certainty when Botes will start Caf duties because of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown.
The Girls Soccer Academy has been central to the development of women’s soccer in South Africa and over the last five years at least eight players per year have made it through to the national team (Banyana Banyana).
Botes is pleased that she will still play a role at the academy, despite the Caf appointment.
“No ways, I will still be around,” said Botes. “I will continue with our mandate of producing players for all our women’s national teams.”
In recent times, Caf has stepped up its efforts to develop women’s football, and Botes feels she can make a difference.“It is about making a difference and seeing the growth in women’s football,” said Botes. “Being part of Caf is about rubbing shoulders with the best on the continent.
“Yes, currently it is only myself and Fran, but there are more South African (women’s) coaches coming through the ranks. We have an abundance of knowledgeable female coaches in South Africa.
“It is a great achievement and I am so honoured to have been appointed as a CAF Instructor. 1t allows me to share my knowledge and experience.”
Caf is following the lead set by Fifa who pledged to invest $1billion in the women’s game over the next four years.@herman_gibbs