Keshia Herman of Rondebosch-based Magic Ladies FC might well have been at the losing end at the season’s final of Safa Cape Town’s prestigious Coke Cup competition but the hard-working defender won the hearts and minds of the pundits.
Herman was named player of the series in this season’s campaign, which ended at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday when her side went down 0-1 to Philippi’s Dangerous Heroes in front of one of the biggest crowds in the 27-year-old history of the competition.
Herman’s ability to snuff-out attacking sorties from her opponents while winning the aerial battles has caught the attention with many calling for her elevation to Banyana Banyana’s set-up.
Herman, 22, from Parkwood, started playing as a six-year-old for Southampton in the Cape District Football Association. She has set her sights on an overseas career with her main goal to cement a place in the Banyana defence.
“There were no teams for girls, so I started to play with the boys in the under six age group until the under-16 stage. After this I started to play the senior women,” she said.
It was the start of a journey which saw her completing her matric at the Fairmount High School in Grassy Park before embarking on a senior career with Vasco da Gama, Milano, Santos and now The Magic.
Herman says she is excited with the prospect of women’s football moving into a professional era with a new league in the process of taking shape, especially after she and her teammates were left in the lurch when the Vasco franchise was sold.
“It was very disappointing for all of us when we were told that the club sold days after winning the league. That really broke most of the women. But we survived through that ordeal. I joined The Magic along with some other teammates,” said Herman.
“Winning this award stands as a symbol to all young women that even if doors are closed on you, you should persevere, and the key is to work hard as this the only way to success. As women we need to work hard and to seize all opportunities,” she added.
Meanwhile, Diadora FC became only the second club to successfully defend the men’s title after they edged out plucky Goulburn Athletic 1-0 in a thrilling final. Jerry Mxabo’s first half strike was the only difference between the two sides.
But Goulburn was richly rewarded for their exceptional effort when Omar Dollie of Goulburn was named the player of the tournament for his fantastic display during this season’s campaign.
In the boys’ under-18 section, Cape Town Spurs triumphed 1-0 against Matroosfontein.