Captain of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Janine van Wyk, says they are ready for the tough year ahead.
The squad is in Cape Town to play two top international friendly matches as part of their preparations for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off in June in France.
South Africa will face The Netherlands on Saturday, 19 January 2019 – THE INAUGURAL WINNIE MANDELA INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE– at the Cape Town Stadium, a 2010 FIFA World Cup venue.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
Three days later (Tuesday, 22 January 2019) they will be up against Sweden at 19h00 –THE ALBERTINA SISULU CENTENARY CHALLENGE– at the same venue.
The Netherlands are ranked 7th in the world while Sweden is two spots down in 9th position.
This is Banyana Banyana’s maiden World Cup tournament.
They have been working hard since their arrival in the Mother City on Wednesday, 9 January, and are looking forward to the two fixtures.
|This is Banyana Banyana’s maiden World Cup tournament.|
“Camp is going really well. All the players are buzzing at training and ready for another tough year ahead. We know there is a lot of hard work to be done and what better test for us than playing top quality teams such as The Netherlands and Sweden,” said Van Wyk.
“We have come a long way and have grown so much in our game over the past year. I am pretty confident that it would be tough for opponents to break us down if we manage to stay on top of our game. The good thing is we have played and lost to both nations before, so we know what to expect. We could not have asked for such great start to our preparations in such an important year for women’s football. Whatever the outcome this time around, the main aim is to make sure we are ready for the tournament in June – and it all starts here and now.”
Banyana Banyana have a full compliment of players with the arrival of the Australia-based duo of Refiloe Jane and Rhoda Mulaudzi in camp, who have already attended their first training session.
The pair had to delay reporting for national team duty due to club commitments – they helped their club to a 1-0 victory on Sunday, 13 January before jetting off to join their compatriots in Cape Town.