Renowned Biokineticist and conditioning coach Simone Conley has opened up on lost opportunities that never saw the light of day in South African football, saying she they were all part of her journey.
Conley made a name for herself working in the amateur ranks then moving to the First Division and the Premier Division of the men’s game in the country.
She transitioned into the women’s game, being part of the Banyana Banyana set-up at the COSAFA Cup in 2022 and then worked with Hollywoodbets Super League champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and was part of the Banyana Banyana FIFA Women’s World Cup that reached the second round of the tournament.
Before traveling to Australia and New Zealand she secured a job at Saudi Arabian women’s side Al-Ittihad.
Conley spoke to iDiski Times writer Lethabo Kganyago in edition 114 of the newspaper, revealing she doesn’t hold anything that did not happen — like working with the Manchester United coach Benni McCarthy and an offer from Kaizer Chiefs that was retracted — to heart.
“Coach Benni McCarthy called me once I was released by TS Galaxy and said he wanted to rope me in at AmaZulu because he liked my work. But unfortunately, that didn’t materialise because soon after AmaZulu let him go (chuckles),” Conley told iDiski Times.
“I also did get a call from Kaizer Motaung Jr. and he basically told me that look, they want me as part of the team. I went there and did a presentation. They offered me the job, and for some reason, they retracted that two weeks later and went with someone else (chuckles).
“Yeah, they opted for someone else. But I mean it was meant to be, otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting where I am right now and I wouldn’t be going where I am right now”
“So those are doors that I obviously knocked on and it was a process that I had to go through. Those doors didn’t open for me and it wasn’t an easy thing at the time because I really wanted to still ply my trade in football, but I realised that God’s Will prevails in the end of the day.
“I then went through a phase of transitioning from the male game into the female game. I felt that maybe the space for me wasn’t inviting anymore because it’s very difficult to be a girl in a male-dominated world. When a team has the option of choosing between a girl and a boy, especially a girl that’s very qualified and comes with a little bit of a price tag they will always opt for the boy regardless of qualifications, regardless of experience.
“So I ventured into female football. This is where I find myself now, having worked with Coach Simphiwe Dludlu at COSAFA Cup, working now with Coach Desiree at the World Cup and having worked with coach Jerry Tshabalala at Sundowns Ladies was a great opportunity. Now I’m off to Al-Ittihad to work with Coach Kelly Lindsey (chuckles).”
You can read Conley’s full interview with Kganyago in edition 114 available on iDiski Times website.