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Palace Super Falcons looks to handle the pressure

By FOCUS REPORTER

NATIONAL champions Palace Super Falcons can expect to be on the receiving end of a
full title challenge onslaught from the winners of the eight other provinces, when
they look to defend their Sasol League National Championship trophy in Mangaung,
Free State next week.

The 3rd edition of South Africa’s premier women’s football showpiece event kicks off
at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium in Bloemfontein on Monday, 20 June 2011 with group
action continuing throughout the week, before the semi-finals are decided on Friday,
24 June 2011.
The title decider will take place on Sunday, June 26 (15h00 kickoff).

“As a team we did really well to outplay Detroit Ladies in last year’s Sasol League
National Championship final played in Polokwane in the Limpopo Province, but it is
one thing winning the title and another in retaining it. We back ourselves all the
way but we know it’s going to be twice as tough as last year as all the other teams
will be going at us twice as hard in an effort to break us down,” said Palace Super
Falcons’ Banyana Banyana midfield star Mamello Makhabane.


Makhabane apart, Palace Super Falcons coach Jabu Mabaso has a wealth of experience
to call on with Banyana Banyana’s tough-tackling defender Janine van Wyk set to
anchor the defence, and the speedy Martha ‘Gautrain’ Makoma in the hunt for goals
upfront.
Mabaso and his players could not have asked for a tougher opening assignment than to
face hosts Bloemfontein Celtic in their opening Group A fixture on Monday (14h00
kickoff).

“It’s been a tough season in the Gauteng Sasol League in which we were under heavy
pressure from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, but we managed to come out on top and win
the provincial league to earn the right to play at the national championships,” said
Mabaso.
“We are ready for Bloemfontein Celtic. We know the crowd will be totally behind the
home team but we have the quality to win on Monday, and indeed throughout the week,”
added Mabaso.

Mpumalanga-based Detroit Ladies, the winners of the inaugural Sasol League National
Championships held in Cape Town two years ago, start their title challenge with an
outing on Tuesday (11h00 kickoff) against Coastal United from the Eastern Cape.

Besides Palace Super Falcons and Bloemfontein Celtic, other provincial winners in
Group A are Royal Wizard Ladies (Northern Cape), Hallellujah Zebra Force (North West
Province) and Brazilian Ladies (Limpopo).
Group B consists of Coastal United, Detroit Ladies, Durban Ladies (KwaZulu Natal)
and Cape Town Roses (Western Cape). The first and second-placed teams in the groups
after the round-robin phase will contest the semifinals.










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