The South African national women’s football side will once again take part in the annual 12-nation Cyprus Women’s Cup which runs from 4-11 March.
The Vera Pauw-coached side has been drawn in Group C together with Belgium, Czech Republic and Mexico and the group will be based in Ayia Napa.
Group A is made up of Canada, Italy, Korea Republic and Scotland while Group B comprises Australia, England, Finland and Netherlands. The two groups will be based in Larnaca.
‘This is an exciting tournament and gives us good preparations ahead of the All-Africa Games and Olympic qualifiers,’ says coach Pauw.
‘These are the type of opponents (tough opposition) we should have played ahead of the African Women’s championships which took place in Namibia last year where Banyana Banyana missed the World Cup spot by a whisker,’ said Pauw.
Banyana Banyana will assemble for camp on Sunday, with a group of 30 players who will then be trimmed to 23 at the final squad announcement at SAFA House next Tuesday.
‘We have not been together since November and can’t wait to meet with the girls again. I have missed them, they are a fantastic lot.’
Pauw insisted that results are not what matters in such events but that the team will give a good account during the tournament.
‘The Cyprus Women’s Cup is a fantastic opportunity which we really welcomed with both hands. It is good for the country, good for the players to toughen up and the tournament itself ranks up there among the best in the world,’ she said.
Banyana Banyana leave for Cyprus on Wednesday, 25 February and return home on Friday, 13 March.
South Africa’s fixtures
4 March: v Mexico
6 March: v Belgium
9 March: v Czech Republic