We have to ride wave of Banyana success: Safa head of women’s football, Pinnock

There have been loud calls to professionalise the women’s game following Banyana Banyana’s exploits in Australia and New Zealand and Safa’s Head of Women’s Football, Romaney Pinnock, is adamant that football needs to ride that wave of success.

Safa’s Head of Women’s Football, Romaney Pinnock. Picture: 947

Despite only being in the job for just over a month, Romaney Pinnock is hitting the ground running as Safa’s head of women’s football and admitted that Banyana Banyana’s display at the FIFA Women’s World Cup had made her entry into the job easier.

With women’s football on the rise, Pinnock is the ideal candidate to take up the mantle of growing the women’s game with a long and impressive CV that includes a FIFA Masters in the Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, an MSc with a focus on Ecotoxicology from the University of Siena, and a Medical Honours and BSc in Genetics, both from the University of Cape Town. Pinnock also has experience as a Director of Badgers Football Academy.

Speaking to Robert Marawa on #MSW, Pinnock outlined what some of her immediate tasks will be.

One of my first tasks is to launch a strategy that depicts the next 5 to 10 years of women’s football. This covers a large parameter at national level and making sure that we are paving the way for young players to become national team players. A performance of this kind and from a broadcasting and marketing point of view is significant where someone might have had the opinion that football is not for women. But this shift is helping us normalise the idea of women in sport. Once we put our strategy out there we must put dates to it and be held accountable to those.

Romaney Pinnock, SAFA Head of Women’s Football

There have been loud calls to professionalise the women’s game following Banyana’s exploits in Australia and New Zealand. Pinnock was adamant that football needs to ride that wave of success.

A professional league would take us forward in leaps and bounds. Players who play in the league have 9 to 5 jobs and it means they can’t commit to football full time. We are competing against nations that identify players at a young age that are nurtured and developed from that age, so it will always be difficult. There are a lot of people who have done a lot of good in the women’s space and some of them are in the PSL, in the forms of teams that have women’s sides. I am hoping for honest conversations with them but we have to look at varsity sport and school sport so that it’s a continuous cycle of players coming through and players at different levels having a say in the development of the women’s game.

Romaney Pinnock, SAFA Head of Women’s Football

With South Africa hoping to host the next World Cup in 2027, Pinnock believes that the country can't host the tournament until the league is professional, which could give an indication of timelines for making women’s football professional.

Watch below for the full interview with Romaney Pinnock: