PLATINUM Stars’ MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) head coach, Keleabetswe “Jusca” Diale, is rewriting the history books.
Diale was recently named to lead Dikwena’s MDC team, having spent a season as assistant to Alan Clark – who has moved on to become second in charge to Cavin Johnson in the first team.
She is the first South African female coach to be appointed by a PSL club in such a BIG capacity.
Alexandra United’s Tracy-lee Pepper is the only other woman to coach in a semi-professional league, the ABC Motsepe League, while former national women’s Under-17 coach, Maud Khumalo, is with the Tshwane University of Technology-Soshanguve’s University Sport South Africa team.
The MDC kicks off this weekend, with Dikwena facing Chippa United at the Gelvandale Stadium, and Diale is hoping to start this new chapter of her professional life on a winning note.
Said Diale: “There has been a change in management. Alan got promoted to the first team and my appointment ensures continuity for the team. I have been with the club for years and know how things have been going.”
Diale is hopeful she is the first of many women coaches to follow in the employ of PSL clubs.
She holds a Caf A-coaching licence and is currently working towards a Fifa instructor’s licence.
Diale also completed her Sports Management studies at Tshwane University of Technology.
She was involved in the coaching of many players who got their start at the Stars academy and got promoted to the first team, such as Kobamelo Kodisang, Siphiwe Mnguni, Sphamandla Mlilo, Kamogelo Mathe, Sipho Senne, Katlego Khunou, Gift Links and Tsireletso Lesabane.
“If there were more flexibility in football management, more women would get chances like this. The Stars management believes in me and in what I can deliver for the team,” she told SunSport.
When Safa appointed Vera Pauw as Banyana Banyana coach, president Danny Jordaan said he would like to see more women coaching women’s national teams.
Does Diale believe she could be one of those to move up to the national structure in the future? “I really haven’t thought about that. I would like to be an assistant coach in the Absa Premiership within the next five years. But if any opportunity presents itself, like this one did, I will take it!”
Safa technical director of women’s football, Fran Hilton-Smith said Diale’s appointment was a step in the right direction for women coaches in the country: “This says women are improving and making a mark in South African football. We want to see more women coaching at the highest level in the country. But very importantly, they must be competent and able to deliver.”
Former Banyana Banyana captain, Amanda Dlamini said getting experience at local clubs would produce coaches who could contribute to national teams.
Said Dlamini: “I was excited by the news. The MDC opens doors and has given platforms for players to get into the first team and even national teams. It also has videographers who are women.
“Finally people are taking women empowerment seriously. The appointment will be encouraging to young ones who want to become coaches, because there are opportunities now.
“We need coaches to get experience at club level and take it to the national structures.”