Shilene buoyant despite Bright Starlets’ early CECAFA exit

Shilene buoyant despite Bright Starlets’ early CECAFA exit
Bright Starlets squad after the team returned from CEACA Championship in Uganda. [Photo: SSFA]

Shilene Booysen touched down at Juba International Airport on Tuesday with the rest of Bright Starlets players but premature elimination at the CECAFA Women’s Championship in Uganda is a setback that will not deter her resolve to make South Sudan a regional football powerhouse. 

The national women’s team cracked out of the regional competition for the senior women’s team after losing all her preliminary matches, the last being a humiliating 4-0 defeat in the hands of Ethiopia.

They went down 2-0 in the opening match against to Tanzania then lost the subsequent game by a solitary goal against Zanzibar.

Boysen, a former South African (Banyana Banyana) Performance Analyst believes that with proper structure, South Sudan will one day dine at the table of the big girls.

Though down and out, Boysen says that the one week of football action in Kampala was a big lesson to South Sudan. 

“For us, it (the experience) was more about performance than it was the result,” the South African told City Review after jetting back to the country. 

“Looking back, I think we did really well. We stuck to the game plan which was to hold on to the ball and defend as a team. Going forward, I’m excited to know that they are learning so quickly. There is a big future for them,” she added. 

Boysen who has been with the team for just a year, however, believes that South Sudan can get to even greater heights of football if proper structures are put in place. 

“I’m very confident that in the next couple of years, maybe two, we’ll be able to compete with other teams.

“For us to do that, we need to have a proper league in place, where many of these girls will be able to harness their talents. At the moment, many of them are not playing football,” she advises.

The tactician says that the country is making steady progress and that with more exposure, the team will soon break into the elite league of regional football powerhouses. 

“Learning to win is a skill. That’s where we are at the moment. We are trying to get these players to the levels where they can learn to win games and to continuously do that.”

South Sudan is yet to win a single match at the Cecafa Championship. 

Booysenpenned signed a two-year contract with the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) in February 2021; a deal that is set to lapse in six months.