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van wyk

Van Wyk: Swedish clash the perfect start to 2018

Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk says Sunday’s friendly international against Sweden is the best start to a crucial year for the national women’s football side.

‘This is all about preparation for a very crucial year for Banyana Banyana and a wonderful start to the year. It’s also the first game of the year so nothing can beat that – playing against such highly decorated opposition,’ said Van Wyk.

‘We’e really looking forward to competing against them. The morale in the team is very high and we are up for the challenge. It’s going to be tough but in order for us to grow we have to play such games otherwise you remain stagnant and never learn,’ added Van Wyk.

This is a year when Banyana will be playing qualification matches for the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, to be held in Ghana later in the year, as well as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled for France.

Speaking to the media in Cape Town where they’re holding a training camp before the match, Van Wyk said they have a wonderful opportunity to grow as a team when they face tough opposition like Sweden, who are ranked 10th in the world. They play a behind-doors practice match on Thursday before Sunday’s 2pm kick-off at Cape Town Stadium.

‘We’re looking forward to the match –  it will be my second time playing against Sweden and they’re very tough opponents. It’s an honour and a privilege to have them in South Africa.

‘They’re the second international team to come to South Africa after the Netherlands, and it is always good to have such quality come and play us as they really help in terms of gauging how far we are,’ said Van Wyk.

‘We also have say thank you to our sponsor Sasol, as well as the South African Football Association (SAFA) for all the support they have given women’s football. Without them we would not be where we are right now.’

This will be the third time the two teams meet – on both previous occasions it was at the Olympic Games, in London 2012 and Rio 2016. South Africa lost both matches.

Entry to the match is free, but a ticket is needed to gain access. These can be collected at Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or selected OK Furniture and USave stores.