Former Banyana Banyana Performance Analyst Shilene Booysen has been appointed as the new head coach for the South Sudan Senior Women’s football team.
Booysen penned down a two-year contract that will see her lead the “Bright Starlet” as they are affectionately known until 2023.
Shilene is no stranger to the big stage as she has previously worked in the National Women’s Soccer League in America where she served as the assistant coach at Houston Dash. She has also worked as Bafana Bafana analyst and has been with Banyana Banyana as a performance analyst from 2014 until her latest appointment.
Speaking about her appointment, a jubilant Booysen said she was ecstatic about her new role.
“I am excited, really excited. This is an opportunity for me to be part of something really special. South Sudan FA has come up with a strategy that I wanted to be a part of and that is why I applied for the job. Every position I have filled in the past came with pressure and I am happy to take up the challenge. I want to make a difference.
“SSFA has very realistic and achievable goals set up and I want to help them achieve them. Firstly, it will be to get a good FIFA ranking and build a sustainable women’s football program while helping them grow the game,” added Booysen.
Booysen stated that she is excited to be part of the wider and exciting changes taking place in women’s football on the continent.
“CAF has outlined clear vision and strategy for women’s football in Africa and it’s amazing to see how some newly formed federations are setting up their programs to follow this,’’ said Booysen.
When Banyana Banyana were crowned 2020 COSAFA Champions for the fourth successive time, Banyana Head coach Desiree Ellis had high praises for Shilene Booysen’s ability to analyze opponents, underscoring how the two coaches worked well together.
It’s a bittersweet moment for Desiree Ellis who expressed her excitement for this huge opportunity for her companion to develop in her own right.
“I have known Shilene for more than 20 years as we played together for the same team and we have worked together at Banyana Banyana for a very long time,” said Ellis.
“I am sad to see her go but it’s another opportunity for her to grow and develop. She has been an integral part of Banyana’s success,” added Ellis.
“We have spoken about such moments for a long time. She has huge international experience having worked with Bafana Bafana and Houston Dash, I want to wish her all the best. I know she will be a huge success, “Ellis concluded.
The South Sudan Football Assocaition President, Francis Amin said, “We are delighted to announce Shilene as the next Head Coach of the South Sudan Senior Women’s Football Team. Our vision is to be number one and having a full-time Head Coach is part of our strategic plan. We want to give women on the senior women’s national team full time training that is monitored, and we want to see the team competing at a high level soon.”
The SSFA Women’s Football Consultant, Jean Sseninde added, “Shilene has plenty of international experience having worked in the National Women’s Soccer League as an Assistant Coach to Vera Pauw with the Houston Dash and also with the South Africa Senior women’s national team as a Tactical Assistant Coach to Desiree Ellis. She has worked in high pressure games in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and we fully believe her experiences, authenticity, commitment and understanding of our vision as SSFA will help us build a team that will challenge for regional and continental titles in the near future.”
It should be noted that since 2014, South Sudan has taken part in World Cup Qualifiers twice with the senior national team losing to Uganda 22-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match, while the national U-20 lost to Algeria by 9-0 in aggregate in yet another FIFA U-20 World Cup Qualifiers. During the 2019 CECAFA Women’s torunment in Tanzania, South Sudan lost to Tanzania 9-0, beating Zanzibar 5-0 and again lost to Burundi 3-0 in their last group game.
Shilene who will likely not start from zero while making national team selection, will have a crop of players where she will be able to pick from during the up coming South Sudan National Women’s league which is set to commence on 20th February 2021 at Buluk Training Centre. Eight (8) teams are set to participate in the competition, and they include Juba Super Stars, Aweil Women’s Team, Kuajok Women’s Team, Bentiu United WT, Torit Women’s Team, Wau Women’s Team, Yambio Women’s Team, Yei Joint Stars WT.