|Role:||Head Coach to South African Women's Football Team|
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Vera Pauw has made a mark in the history of Dutch football by blazing several unique records. She was the first woman who played abroad, the first woman who earned her professional football coaching diploma, one of the first women to serve on the Technical Committee of the FIFA (together with Sylvie Beliveau) and, finally, help lay the foundation of the Dutch Premier League for Women.
Vera, born in Amsterdam, played for five clubs during her career, including four in the Netherlands and one in Italy. In her own country, she joined SV Brederodes, VV Vreeswijk, Puck Deventer and Saestum. In Italy she played for the professional team of CF Modena.
At the end of her active career Vera joined the Scottish football association, where she was coach of the national women’s team. She also beared technical responsibility for the policy in Scotland as technical director.
After six years, however, she returned to the Netherlands, to be the successor of Frans de Kat as coach of the Dutch national women’s team, and again assuming responsibility for the overall policy of the development of girls and women’s football in the Netherlands. Her debut as National Coach of the Netherlands in 2004 was unforgettable. World champions Germany asked Netherlands for a practise match after Ghana cancelled. In two days Vera created a team that kept the world champions tied at 0-0. However, Netherlands did not qualify for the World Cup 2007. The team finished third in there group, behind England and France.
Since July 2010, Vera has served as the Technical Director of the Russian Football Union. She has the responsibility to build the game to a stable structure.
She won the Emancipation Prize in November 2009 and was nominated for the Millenium Shoe Award during the same year. Both awards honour her work in using sport as a tool to empower girls all over the world.
Vera is now the Head Coach for the South African Women’s Team, nicknamed Banyana Banyana (The Girls) and was appointed in early 2014.
News Article from 2014:
She took over from Joseph Mkhonza who will take up the position of National Selector.
Pauw’s immediate task is to prepare the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana for the CAF African Women Championships (AWC) scheduled for October in the Namibian capital of Windhoek.
Three teams from the continent will qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The 51-year old Pauw said she was excited to be part of this ambitious and dynamic organisation.
“I am excited to become part of this ambitious project in which we can develop our girls into international stars. SAFA is aiming high with women’s football. President (Danny) Jordaan has expressed this in his New Year message because women’s football is the fastest growing sport in the world. There are plenty of opportunities in which we can use football to enhance the future of women in general,” said Pauw.
“My association with SAFA goes back many years ago. When I was coach of The Netherlands team, we had great times whenever we visited South Africa and most times stayed at the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Pretoria. We have had matches involving our U/20 girls’ teams in Netherlands.”
“South Africa has massive potential in development structures and I am looking forward to this new challenge of taking Banyana Banyana to the next level,” added Pauw.
SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan said Pauw was a potential game changer in South African football especially within the women fraternity.
“Pauw’s appointment was well thought out and we are confident that in her we have a coach who can take Banyana Banyana to the next level.
“She has the right credentials and her track record speaks highly of a coach who has the desire to compete with the best in the world. That is the level we want Banyana Banyana to be. We liked her vision and desire to be successful,” said Dr Jordaan.
“We have also taken a principal decision as SAFA that all women national teams will be coached by female coaches and where we don’t have the right candidates, to source the candidates from outside our borders,” added Dr Jordaan.