Equipped to take Basetsana to Under-20 World Cup in Chile
Anna Monate, the women's national under-20 team coach, believes she is the right person to take the team to the U-20 World Cup in Chile next year.
Monate was speaking after her return from a month-long coaching course in Cologne, Germany, which she attended with Bafana Bafana assistant coach Pitso Mosimane, among others.
Monate is convinced that the amount of information she amassed in Germany will stand her in good stead as she and Basetsana face the challenging qualifying matches around the continent.
"I know that the qualifiers next year are going to be difficult. However, I have learned a lot this past month - both in terms of working with players' psychology and their technical abilities," Monate said.
"Nothing will stop me from getting the best out of the players, especially because as a former player, I can empathise with the girls in this environment."
Monate has at her disposal 25 players, all of them based at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria - facilities that, as some of the best in the world, afford players some of the best environments to train and live in.
Monate was one of only two women in the 30-member group from the Middle East, Asia and the African continent at the training course.
"I was proud to rub shoulders with the likes of Zambian head coach Patrick Phiri and Nigeria's Eguavoen Augustine, and of course Pitso and my other compatriots Molefi Ntseki and Solly 'Homeboy' Luvhengo," she said.
As to where she plans to take the team, Monate pointed out the importance of looking and planning ahead in the development of our women's soccer.
"This team must be a feeder team for Banyana Banyana. As they say in Setswana, 'le ojwa le sale metsi (you nurture them young)', so maybe the problems encountered by our teams at senior level can be avoided. It is my duty to inspire hunger and the thirst to win in my players," she said.
She expressed her joy at Safa's recent financial support of the national women's league.
"That is one way for our country to be successful. We have to keep these players together, groom and invest in them and chances are we will reap the rewards at a later stage."
Monate does not consider herself the finished article yet, but she is confident that with the right support, her team will not fall by the wayside, but they will be in New Zealand with the best of them, come 2008.