Banyana must redeem country’s dented pride
JOHANNESBURG,(CAJ News) – WITH the nation still reeling in the failure of the senior men’s national team to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations , the stakes are suddenly high for their female counterparts as they resume preparations for the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCN).
Banyana Banyana have returned to camp ahead of the two-legged tie will see them face off against The Zebra at the first hurdle to qualify for the tournament at Lobatse Sports Complex Stadium on Saturday.
The return leg is scheduled for Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa next Tuesday.
Banyana Head coach, Vera Paw, has selected 28 players for the camp with Busisiwe Ndimeni ruled out because of an injury she sustained in Cameroon, while Jabu Mazibuko returns to the squad after missing out on the recent West African tour due to an injury.
The South Africans played two international friendly matches against the host nation – winning 2-0 in the first one and drawing 2-all in the second clash.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have been conducting their training sessions at the Nike Football Training Centre in Pimville, Soweto before departing for neighbouring Botswana on Tuesday.
Pauw says the team has just recently returned from Cameroon where they did well.
“Our travel to West Africa has helped us with preparations for Botswana because we really want to qualify for the AWCN and make the nation proud,” says Pauw.
South Africa indeed needs to restore some pride after Bafana Bafana disastrous campaign for next year’s AFCON.
They lie second-last, winless, in a four-team group that includes Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania.
On the other hand Banyana have offered hope and have qualified for the 2016 Olympics scheduled for Brazil, alongside the men’s junior side.
“All these matches that we are playing are part of the programme to prepare for the bigger stage, the Rio Olympic Games in August,” says Pauw.
Cameroon will host the 12th edition of the AWCN tournament from 19 November to 3 December, 2016.
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=12510