JOHANNESBURG – Miche Minnies’ father, David, is more excited than his daughter that the lass from Mitchells Plain will play in the Under-17 World Cup in Uruguay later this year.
Minnies played a big role in the Under-17 women’s national team qualifying for the global showpiece. She finished the qualifiers as Bantwana’s joint top goal-scorer, tied on four goals with Karabo Dlamini. Minnies scored one goal in the 6-1 aggregate win over Morocco and was on the score-sheet three times in the 11-6 aggregate win over Botswana in the first round.
“I am very excited about going to the World Cup because this is my first time in the national team,” Minnies said. “It means a lot to me. The support my mother and father gave me along with that from my teammates and the coaches helped me finish as the joint top goal-scorer.
“I am very excited about Uruguay. But I am more excited about going to Spain (which is the reward Safa president Danny Jordaan promised the team should they qualify for the World Cup). Spain is a great footballing nation with two of the greatest clubs in the world, Barcelona and Real Madrid.”
The trip to Spain will be the first time Minnies goes outside the continent’s shores. Last week she notched up another first, flying for the first time in Bantwana’s trip to Morocco via Accra and Abidjan. “I was very nervous. We spent a lot of time in the air. But I will get used to it because I will travel the world because of football.”
Such moments make her father proud, especially with the work he put in at the start of her football career.
“My father is more excited than me about this because he is the one who made me fall in love with football,” Minnies said.
“He took me with to the games at a very young age while my mother was praying for me. My father was my first coach, from when I was five years old. He owned the team that I played for. The other teammates would ask why was I not substituted or never sat on the bench.
“He would tell them ‘no she is strong enough to play with the boys’. Starting with a boys’ team at a young age helped me to get strong quickly because they didn’t make things easy for me. They were actually harder on me because they didn’t want to be embarrassed by a girl.”