Vasco Shoulder Cape Football Hopes in National Play-offs

Staff Writer, 3 December 2019

Vasco Da Gama FC has vowed to pull all the stops to achieve the Western Cape women football’s dream to have a second team in the Women’s National League as the Sasol League National Championship kicks-off today. 

The Parow-based side takes on Ixias FC of Free State in the opening Group B match at Tsakane Stadium in Ekurhuleni, before completing the group phase with a game against Sunflowers FC of KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday afternoon.  

The nine Sasol league provincial winners have been grouped into three groups of three teams each. The top three from each group will qualify for the semi-finals, alongside the best runner up. The semi-final winners will be guaranteed spots in the Safa Women’s National League, which was launched this year.  

Vasco won the Sasol League Western Cape for the first time to qualify for the national championships. 

Head coach Nathan Peskin said the playoffs offers his team a great opportunity to compete with the best in the country. “As Vasco Da Gama Ladies Football Club we can only commit to giving the best possible account of ourselves at the tournament. We understand completely that we carry the hopes of the Western Cape and the club at large on our shoulders, and we will endeavour to represent with pride. 

“If there is one thing that Vasco has been known for over the past few years, then it’s their heart and fighting spirit. We trust that the Western Cape football lovers will all be rooting for us. I certainly know that my fellow coaches will be right behind us.” 

Peskin wrote his name in the history books by winning the Sasol League Western Cape in two consecutive seasons with two different clubs after he guided the University of the Western Cape (UWC) to victory last year. “After my achievements at UWC, it was quite a challenge for me to see if I could replicate success at a completely different club and a completely different set of players. 

“So I guess I am pleased with the result especially that I achieved it in successive seasons with different teams. As for the Vasco team, well they are extremely happy that their moment finally arrived as they have been making great strides every season since they were promoted to the Sasol league. Of course I am pleased that I could assist in bringing honour to the club.”

What have been the ingredients for success?  

“I have a very simple philosophy for success,” Peskin responded. “Hard work, commitment, focus and passion are basic but most valuable ethics. This is what I demand of my players wherever I coach. I keep it simple and focus on ensuring that the basics are done well. I’m not a major fan of complicated drills but rather focus on match specific coaching scenarios. 

“With any group of players, good or average, you need to establish how to use them so they can add maximum value to the team. That may not always be what or where their personal preferences lie. Finally consistency and discipline completes my coaching philosophy.” 

And there is the affectionate side to it, as well.

“Creating and maintaining a bond with your players is a key factor to success. Let’s never forget without players we can’t coach and without happy players we can’t achieve success. Understanding player strengths and weaknesses and coming up with mutual solutions is a start. Having a clear vision and goal for each player is important, and it makes the hard work easier as they understand what they’re working towards.”