South Africa held their first full training session at Sam Nujoma Stadium on Thursday morning, and coach Vera Pauw said the girls were mentally ready to do battle with their Namibian counterparts. The match will take place on Saturday, 5 July at 16:00 South African time as part of preparations for the 2014 African Women Championships (AWC). Preparations for the match got off to a good start under cool weather conditions in Windhoek.
The friendly match against Namibia will be coach Pauw’s fifth match in charge of Banyana Banyana, having led the team to two victories, one draw and one loss thus far. The team qualified for the AWC fiesta after walloping Comoros 13-0 in a one-legged qualifier. Banyana Banyana also beat Botswana 4-0, drew 1-1 with Zimbabwe and lost 1-0 to Ghana in friendly matches.
“All the friendly matches we play help us to build confidence and assist towards getting the players ready to perform at a higher level. The players know what is expected of them. We need to start preparing for more intense level of play,” said Pauw. The South Africans go into the match with an injury free squad, with all the players available for selection.
Pauw, who took over the reigns as Banyana Banyana mentor in March this year has thus far completed her first task, which was to qualify the team for the African Women’s Championships, which will be used as qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Teams that finish in the top three will qualify for participation at the World Cup, scheduled for Canada.