The South African Women’s National team, Banyana Banyana will be looking to utilise their recent London Olympics experience in the forthcoming eighth edition of the African Women’s Championships (AWC) in Equatorial Guinea where they will compete against the continent’s best from 28 October – 11 November 2012.
The AWC tournament will be played at the Nkoantoma Stadium in Bata and the Nouveau Stade in Malabo, the venue for some of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations games.
Banyana Banyana has been drawn in group A alongside hosts Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and DR Congo. Group B will consist of reigning champions Nigeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will be looking to pick up from where they left off when they held World Champions Japan to a goalless draw in their last Olympic game.
Banyana Banyana head coach, Joseph Mkhonza said he would like to pick up from where the squad left off in London. Three top countries will represent Africa at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015.
“We are looking to build a strong squad that will compete in the African spectacle and do well. Our profile has gone up since the Olympics and we want to maintain that momentum.
“In the upcoming camps, we would like to bring in new talent that we identified during the Sasol League National Championship. That way, we can manage to blend youth with experience so that we can sustain the success and have continuity,” said Mkhonza.
The soft-spoken Banyana coach said his technical team has been following the rehabilitation process of regulars like Memory Makhanya and Mamello Makhabane with keen interest.
“I am hopeful that they will all recover in time for the AWC. I have been monitoring their progress and I am pleased that Memory (Makhanya) and Mamello (Makhabane) will be ready to join us when we start our preparations for the continental championships.”
Mkhonza said he would like to see the players build on what they learnt at the Olympics and maintain the momentum.
“It is important that we constantly work on improving because our goal is to do well in Africa and finish among the top three nations and qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.” added Mkhonza.