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Female football team managers on the rise

Mon, 9 December 2013 05:20
by Michael Uugwanga

Naturally, women distaste the thought of spending too much time with a single dog. Imagine spending the whole year with 18 dogs in your yard every day!
That is the life of Tura Magics’ Monica Shapawa and Jo-ann Krohne of Orlando Pirates, if the phrase, ‘men are dogs’ is to be adhered to.
The two are the team managers of premier league outfits and have gone through a lot to be where they are today.
Shapwa has always been a football aficionado since her time at Sparten in the lower leagues in 2010 and being a sister to former Brave Gladiator, Minardo Shapwa, it seems to run in the blood.
“I was approached by the Tura Magic executives, Isaack Hamata and Timo Tjongarero, as they both knew about my involvement in the sport. It’s the same year Magic got promoted to the NPL. They said they wanted to have a balance of female representative in the team,” says Shapwa.
Her job description at Magic is to run the day to day activities and form a linkage between players and management.
“It is challenging, although it has opened doors for me. The challenge is to kill the perception that women in football sleep with players. We know when to draw the line, why can we not be regarded as professionals?”
Shapwa is an employee at Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC). She still regards former coach, Woody Jacobs, who is now with African Stars as the best workmate ever. She describes him as someone who can “bring the best out of players.”
Across Katutura, at Pirates, is outspoken team manager, Krohne. Even touchline officials fear her wrath, especially when a decision has been made against her black and whites.
“At times, referees make too many mistakes and it’s unfair to a team that might have played better,” says Krohne, who is fully versed with the football rules.
Krohne’s romance with football started when she owned the Jo-Ann Soccer Academy in 2007 before leaving for South Africa to further her studies.
She holds a diploma in fitness from Stellenbosch University and is currently the sport officer at Jan Mohr Secondary School.
 “The future is here at Pirates and I don’t have any intention of leaving unless to Asia, because their sport level is very high. When I arrived at Pirates, I was appointed the fitness instructor to fully fitness coach, to assist the team manager.”