The University of the Western Cape (UWC) has appointed Banyana Banyana assistant coach Thinasonke Mbuli as the new head coach of its women’s football team.
Her appointment has been hailed as “a transformation success story” by the institution.
Mbuli, who is also the head coach of the University Sport South Africa (USSA), women’s football team, has signed a three-year deal with UWC, taking over from Nathan Peskin, whose contract expired at the end of 2018.
UWC sports director, Mandla Gagayi, said her appointment is in line with the Goal 6 of UWC’s Institutional Operation Plan 2016 – 2020 which is “enhancing UWC’s standing and profile.”
He said she will undoubtedly strengthen women’s football at the institution.
“This is also a transformation success for UWC and UWC sport because we believe women must be given opportunities, space, authority and power to take charge of their sport, “”Gagayi said.
Mbuli is from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga and brings a wealth of experience to the university. In coach of USSA women’s team since 2016, duties that she does part-time, she has been at the helm of the University of KwaZulu-Natal since 2016.
She has also served as the coach of her alma mater, Durban University of Technology, where she obtained her degree in sports management.
Gagayi noted that many women’s football teams have come to recognise the need for women as coaches.
“It would, therefore, be unfortunate if UWC, as one of the leading universities in football, was left behind,” she said.
Mbuli joins UWC at an exciting time after UWC Women’s FC earned a spot in the National Women’s League – South Africa’s first professional women’s league which is set to be established in April.
She cited the rich history of the institution, the good stature of the women’s team and its ambitions as among the factors that attracted her to the job.
“UWC has a good women’s team which has always finished in the top four at USSA games. For me this is a new challenge in a new province and in a new environment and I’m excited and looking forward to it.”