It is all systems go for Banyana Banyana as they continue their preparations for the upcoming friendly match against Mozambique scheduled for Sunday at the Kanyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit.
The Sasol-sponsored Senior Women’s national team has been training at the Ingwenyama Lodge Sports Grounds in Nelspruit since arriving in Mpumalanga on Monday. ┬áBanyana coach Joseph Mkhonza and his technical team said they were highly impressed by the commitment from entire squad of 21 players.
The Banyana Banyana mentor feels preparations are right on track. The camp will give him further opportunity to look at the progress of players following the two training sessions on Tuesday.
ÔÇ£Preparations for the encounter against Mozambique this coming Sunday are well underway and looking at the players’ commitment, I must say I am very impressed. That is why it is going to be difficult to drop certain players and have the final 18 players that will travel back to Johannesburg for the match against Zimbabwe.
ÔÇ£Apart from a bit of fatigue following a long journey from Johannesburg, there are no injuries and the players have recovered well after travelling a long distance. We are now looking at trying out new combinations. We are also working on the players’ tactical awareness on the field because this will be crucial in our game against Mozambique,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
Nelisiwe Mchunu, who is among the new additions to the Banyana Banyana squad, is excited about the opportunity to play at national team level and representing her country. The 21-year old defender, who is doing her first year in Sports Management at the University of Johannesburg, has been rising up the ranks of women’s football.
The Moroka Swallows FC (Sasol league, Gauteng) defender was voted the player of the year in the 2012 JVW Schools League and also captained the JVW Stars team feels the national team call-up will motivate her to work even harder to improve her game.
ÔÇ£It is an honour to be among some of the players who I always idolised like Amanda Dlamini and ‘China’ (Gabisile Hlumbane). These are players I have always looked up to in football. It is really exciting to be here.
ÔÇ£The level of training in the national team cannot be compared with what we do at club level. I have come to understand that fitness is key and I am going to take everything I have learned here and put it into practice at my club. I will work harder with the hope that I will be recognised for future national team call-ups,ÔÇØ said Mchunu.
Nelisiwe’s love for football is the reason she now has an opportunity to also excel academically. She was awarded a bursary to study at the university through her participation in the 2012 JVW Schools League.
ÔÇ£Nelisiwe has a great future ahead of her. She has always been a player with great potential and was even awarded a bursary to further her studies at the University of Johannesburg. With mentoring and hard work, I believe she has all the characteristics to excel as a player,ÔÇØ said senior defender Janine Van Wyk.
Banyana Banyana trained twice on Wednesday as coach Mkhonza looks to finalise his starting 11 for the Mozambique game.