Banyana Banyana held a four day training camp which ended today. The South African Senior Women’s National Team coach Vera Pauw says it was important to have this camp so as to keep the players active. This is in preparation for the upcoming 9th edition of the African Women’s Championship in Namibia later this year.
The squad lost 4-2 in a practice match against the SAFA School of Excellence Under-16 team on Wednesday (18 June) at the Bedfordview FC grounds. The Sasol-sponsored side’s goals came from experienced defender Gloria Thato who plays for University of Pretoria Ladies F.C as well as Alochia Thoboka who plays Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies F.C, both in the Gauteng Sasol League. Pauw is impressed with the team’s progress thus far, as they aim to finish in the top three teams at the AWC so as to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled for Canada.
“The aim of playing the match was for us to test our strength and our build-up going forward. I think we’ve made huge progress if I compare to the first time we played against the same team two months ago, and lost that game 4-0. We only struggled later in the match, and they managed to score four goals, but we created different chances and scored two goals as well – that is a huge step for us,” said Pauw.
“The girls have improved a lot from the last time we played against them, they are better organised and defend very well. They are more dynamic when going forward and physically strong. I am confident that the girls will do well at the African Women’s Championships. What impressed me the most was their technical ability. They are more vigorous, their first touches are impressive and their ability to play accurate long diagonal balls is outstanding,” said Mojalefa Mathebula, SAFA School of Excellence Under-16 coach.