On 9 and 10 March, the Panorama Grounds will be buzzing with women’s football action, signalling the start of the 2024 season. Safa Gauteng is behind the event, which features the top eight finishers from Gauteng Women’s Development League (GWDL) and the Safa Gauteng Sasol pre-season games.
Gauteng Women’s Development League
It has been only a year since the GWDL launched and fireworks are expected as the league prepares for its second season.
The u15 Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Team made history by becoming the first champions of the GWDL in 2023. Although they were favoured to win the league, JVW FC and Highlands Park did not back down and gave Sundowns a run for their money.
Competition was, for the most part, tight and matches keenly contested.
GWDL Administrator and Gauteng Safa’s Sports Photographer Mondli Dube said players can expect to play more matches in 2024. Last year, the league consisted of only 10 teams in the u15 division, which was the sole age group. For the forthcoming season, the GWDL will change to u14 and u16 divisions.
Once the GWDL’s Top Eight competition concludes, the league season will start. Dube said the players will also enjoy knockout football with a GWDL Youth Cup being introduced this year.
Fixtures for the GWDL Top 8
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Origin FC
JVW FC vs Tornado FC
Highlands Park vs Tuks
RESA vs Panorama
He added that he would like to see more parents and spectators, and other stakeholders, becoming more involved in supporting women’s football, not only in the GWDL but also in the Sasol League and other leagues.
“We would love to have a GWDL sponsor for the GWDL girls,” he said. “We want to see fans continuing their respectful support…just as they did last season.”
Dube said he believes the league will be more competitive in 2024 than it was in 2023, with teams now aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“Last year was a special year, as it was our pilot season. This year, we are moving higher and solidifying the brand of GDL women. Also, people can hear more about the GWDL on Safa Gauteng‘s pages online, on Facebook, Instagram and SuperSport Schools,” he explained.
SAFA Gauteng’s SASOL Pre Games
The Sasol League’s pre-season games will give the participating clubs an opportunity to assess where they stand ahead of the start of the season. It’s a chance to shake off the rust that might have accrued during the festive season break.
Dube said the league would transition from two streams to one in 2024, which will assist the players in accumulating the hours they need to develop their games further.
“Sasol plays a pivotal role in South African’s women’s football, serving as the backbone of the Hollywoodbets Super League and Banyana Banyana. We can’t take short cuts. This year we will definitely bring the heat,” he concluded.
Nicko Taurus vs Springs Home Sweepers
Mito Stars vs UJ
Zebra Force vs Diepkloof Ladies
Wits vs Blue Birds
Mathaithai vs Kempton Park
Vikings vs Blue Raycon
Future Stars vs Groesus
JVW vs NWU Vaal
A passionate reader and dedicated writer, Siya possesses three degrees from Rhodes University including a Postgraduate Diploma at Rhodes University. He also played amateur cricket and soccer, both during his university years. While honing his journalism skills at Grocott’s Mail in Makhanda, he developed a profound interest in the community’s response to crime. Additionally, he covered topics such as art/culture and student politics at Rhodes University in 2022. In his spare time, Siya can be found exploring galleries, dining at restaurants, indulging in literature, taking photographs or savouring his favourite dish, spaghetti.