The South African U20 Women’s National team (Basetsana) have departed for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, ahead of their first leg FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Tanzania, at the National Stadium in on Saturday, 7 December (Kick-off at 16h00, 15h00 SA time).
A squad of 20 players departed for the East African country on Thursday morning, with Basetsana head coach Sheryl Botes saying that the team had worked very hard, and that the players just needed to go out there and do the job.
“We had our last training session yesterday, and I must admit I’m impressed with what I saw in the girls yesterday,” said Botes. “It is looking good, we did several tactical work, defence and offensive play and the girls are grasping it. We have seen that the commitment and discipline is there and the morale is very high, so we are all looking forward to the match on Saturday.”
The Basetsana mentor is confident that they can play well and has been telling the girls to be prepared for any situation they meet in the qualifier on Saturday.
“We are hoping for favourable weather conditions in Tanzania, and for the players to acclimatize quickly. We will have a loosening session just to activate the muscles when we arrive and have our last training session at the match venue.
“I am confident the girls will do well despite playing against a team we have no information on. But if I base our attack on what we have been working on over the past few weeks, the girls will do well. I have told the girls that we could meet tough conditions when travelling in Africa, so we have to be prepared to meet any possible situation, so mental toughness is key,” said Botes.
Basetsana believe tough mental attitude is key in overcoming Tanzania in the second round of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers. Tanzania progressed to the second round of the qualifiers on a 15-1 aggregate score over Mozambique.
Seasoned campaigner Nomvula Kgoale believes going to Tanzania with the right mental attitude is what is needed for the team to come out with a positive result. “We faced Tanzania when I travelled with Banyana Banyana to the All Africa Games in Maputo in 2011, and if my memory serves me right, they are a very useful side.
“Our mission is to go there and score as many goals without conceding to put us at an advantage going into the second leg,” said Kgoale.
“We don’t have any information on how they play, or if their playing style has changed from the last time we played them in 2011, but we want to be ready for any game. They must be a strong side, considering how they massacred Mozambique,” said Kgoale.
“We are hoping for favourable weather conditions in Tanzania, and for the players to acclimatize quickly,” added Botes.
“I am confident the girls will do well despite playing against a team we have no information on. But if I base our attack on what we have been working on over the past few weeks, the girls will do well.
“We could meet tough conditions when travelling in Africa, so we have to be prepared to meet any possible situation, so mental toughness is key.”
Vuyo Mkhabela and Kaylin Swart have joined to squad travelling to Tanzania, having been released from the USSA championships.
“Vuyo and Kaylin are both key players who will start in the match on Saturday. They are coming fresh from a tournament where they reached the semi-final, so they have that winning mentality and that will be an advantage to us,” concluded Botes.
High Performance Centre-based midfielder Meagan Newman says they have been working hard at training this week, and the week’s main practice match allowed them to put into practice what the head coach has been drilling on them since they started training.
“We have been working hard, and our 5-0 win over Croesus Ladies yesterday has given us an idea on where we are, as far as mental preparedness is concerned. We don’t know what we are up against when we face Tanzania this weekend, but we’ve been working on how to tackle any possibilities,” said Newman.
Newman was among the Bantwana squad that travelled to Trinidad and Tobago for the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in 2010.
“Qualifying for the World Cup is any player’s dream. We took part in the U17 World Cup in 2010 and it would be great experience for us to play in the World Cup again,” added Newman. The 2014 edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup will be staged in Canada from 5-24 August.
Basetsana squad for Tanzania: Goalkeepers: 1. Kaylin Swart (UWC) (WC) 2. Regirl Ngobeni (HPC) (GP) 3. Juliet Sethole (HPC) (GP) Defenders: 4. Vuyo Mkhabela (UWC) (WC) 5. Meagan Newman (HPC) (WC) 6. Nomonde Nomthseke (Bloemfontein Celtic FC) (FS) 7. Caryn van Reyneveld (Spurs FC) (WC) 8. Abongile Dlani (Cape Town Roses) (WC) 9. Tiisetso Makhubela (Torino FC) (NW) Midfielders: 10. Nomvula Kgoale (HPC) (LMP) 11. Koketso Mamabolo (HPC) (LMP) 12. Amanda November (Pioneer FC) (EC) 13. Amanda Mthandi (Croesus FC) (GP) 14. Amogelang Motau (HPC) (LMP) 15. Thembi Kgatlane (HPC) (GP) 16. Gabriella Salgado (HPC) (GP) Strikers: 17. Shiwe Nogwanya (Royal Ladies FC) (FS) 18. Mosili Makhoali (Celta Vigo FC) (GP 19. Lesego Nkoana (HPC) 20. Sduduzo Dlamini (Tottenham FC) (KZN)
Photo Caption: The SA U20 Women’s National team Basetsana have departed for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, ahead of their first leg FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Tanzania, at the National Stadium in on Saturday. Photo: Supplied
(With editing by gsport)