Helman Mkhalele named Bafana assistant coach, Lydia Monyapo as new Safa COO

‘Midnight Express’ as he was affectionately nicknamed by fans, Helman Mkhalele was part of the Orlando Pirates squad that won the 1994 CAF Champions League and PSL title.

Helman Nkosiyethu Mkhalele, Hugo Broos, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Lydia Monyapo and Danny Jordaan. Picture: @SAFA_net

JOHANNESBURG - Former Bafana Bafana winger Helman Mkhalele has been appointed the local assistant coach under recently appointed new head coach Hugo Broos.

At a briefing on Friday, Broos revealed that there was a shortlist of two candidates for the position, Mkhalele and current under 23 head coach, David Notoane.

The Belgian picked Mkhelele because he was pleased with his local football knowledge, while he preferred for Notoane to stay with the under 23s as he had more to contribute at that level.

‘Midnight Express’ as he was affectionately nicknamed by fans, Mkhalele was part of the Orlando Pirates squad that won the 1994 CAF Champions League and PSL title.

He is currently the coach of the men’s u20 team.

The South African Football Association (Safa) also announced that it had appointed Banyana Banyana international Lydia Monyapo as its COO.

The announcements were made at a media briefing where Safa CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe was giving his 100 days report back.

Former Banyana Banyana player Monyapo had initially been in the running for the Safa CEO position alongside former SuperSport International Holdings CEO Happy Ntshingila, Safa national executive members Mxolisi Sibam and Mzwandile Maforvane and the current CEO Advocate Motlanthe.

Monyapo comes with impressive credentials for her role, having served as the deputy director in the department of support services and finance at the University of Pretoria.

She managed Banyana Banyana between 2012-2014 and was the team's liaison officer at the 2010 Women's Afcon. She was also a financial officer for Safca, an associate member of Safa.

The former midfielder represented South Africa at the 2002 and the 2004 Women’s Afcon and 2003 All Africa Games.

As a student athlete Monyepao represented University Sport South Africa (USSA) women’s national football teams at the 2001 and 2003 FISU World Student Games and various CUCSA Games. While at club level she played for Wits Ladies FC, Soshanguve All-Stars and Soweto Ladies.

Academically she holds a BCom (Wits), a BCom Honors in Accounting (UKZN) and a Masters in Sport Management (Loughborough, UK).

She begins her new journey as the national teams are gearing up for competitions.

Banyana Banyana has been invited to the Netherlands for a friendly match on 3 July while the u23s are busy preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.

Bafana Bafana will play Uganda in a friendly match on 10 June as part of their preparations for the upcoming Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe, Uganda and Ethiopia.

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