The 2021 Coke Cup finals take place this Saturday, 16th October at Erica Park with 3 finals being contested, the U18 Boys, Senior Ladies and Senior Male division.
Cape Town City and Hellenic will face each other in the U18 boys’ division while Rygersdal FC and Dynamos battle it out for the Men’s Senior Cup. The Ladies final promises to be the pick of the finals as fellow Sasol League participants Vasco Da Gama and Shosoloza FC come head to head for the 2nd time in as many weeks.
Both teams are fellow contenders for the number 1 spot in Stream B of the Sasol League and have so far delivered exciting encounters in the league with Vasco, making a comeback in the 1st match and beating the visitors 4-3 and both sides sharing the spoils last Saturday drawing 1-1 at Holy Cross, Bellville. Both teams are filled with players who possess an abundance of ability and talent but 1 of these ladies stand out with years of experience and achievements.
Approaching the age of 44 years, Astrid Van Kesteren is still as competitive today as she was 26 years ago when she joined Liverpool Portland as an 18 year old. The excitement and enthusiasm in her voice as Astrid relayed her football journey thus far was clear and one could almost feel the enjoyment she experiences when playing 1 of the sports she loves and achieved in. Not only did she play football for her country but also represented South Africa in softball and has been a member of Glenthorn As softball team from an early age.
Coming from a strong sporting family where her siblings reached provincial level in their respective sporting codes has helped evolve her into the vibrant athlete she is and rushing from a football match in Wynberg to a softball game at Turfhall, was a normal Saturday in the Van Kesteren family.
Astrid began playing football in high school where she started out as a defender for the Belgravia High, girls team. Her club football kicked off after Matric when she joined Liverpool Portland in Mitchells Plain and it was then when the position of goalkeeper was available and Astrid eagerly volunteered to keep take the position.
After spending 2 seasons at Liverpool a move to Spurs WFC (formerly Cape Town Spurs Ladies) was taken and this would be her home for a number of years until very recently. At Spurs WFC her fellow teammates were players like Desiree Ellis (current SA Women’s coach) and Joanne Solomons (SA national team). Coaches like Boebie Solomons and Farouk Abrahams had a positive influence in her football and goalkeeping education.
Experiencing a severe injury while playing for Banyana Banyana in 2000, Astrid overcame her setback with good recovery and is grateful for still being able to carry on playing.
Planning to retire after 2019 and with the arrival of the Pandemic, Astrid was set to put her playing days behind her but with constant calls from wanting clubs, edged her to give it another go. A go getter by nature and a self-motivated individual, Astrid set a goal of qualifying for the national playoffs with her current team Shosoloza this season.
Aware of her age and experience, the Athlone born veteran willingly assists with younger teammates and offers them invaluable advice and shares her wealth of knowledge. This portrays her positive character and ability to share her years of experience as 1 of the oldest players in the league and with no sign of slowing down.
Dedication, hard work and self-discipline is a possible way to describe the nearly 44 year old and hopefully the younger generation of ladies can use her as an example to realize the possibility of what can happen if you take care of your physical and mental self.
For the Coke final, she’s embracing it as just another match where she can perform and do what she loves best and a win will be a bonus.