JOHANNESBURG – “The goosebumps are kicking in,” Banyana Banyana vice-captain Refiloe Jane said on the team’s arrival in Le Havre, France, a place they will call home in the coming weeks leading up to their maiden appearance in the World Cup.
Banyana’s journey to France and the global showpiece has been littered with many speed bumps and disappointments.
There was the heartbreak in Windhoek when they finished fourth in the 2014 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, narrowly missing out on being one of the three nations that would represent Africa in Canada the following year in the World Cup. They used that disappointment as fuel for their journey towards earning a ticket to France.
But that joy was short-lived with a troubling build-up to their opening match against Spain on Saturday. Banyana are without a win in their last nine matches. The last of those saw the team thumped 7-2 by Norway in Amiens, France, on Sunday.
While this poor run worries Jane, it hasn’t knocked her confidence. She is, after all, used to nightmares before realising her dream.