Johannesburg – The SA Women’s team (Banyana Banyana) have assembled for camp in Johannesburg ahead of an away international friendly encounter with the Netherlands Women’s team on April 12, in the city of Den Haag (The Hague).
Banyana last got together in February when they beat Algeria 3-1 on aggregate in an Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) qualifier to be hosted in Morocco later this year. The friendly match will serve as part of the preparations for the tournament that will be played in Morocco.
Speaking ahead of the match against the fifth-ranked Netherlands, Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said facing tougher opponents will test her players’ mental strength.
“It won’t only be part of the preparations for Awcon but it is also an opportunity to be tested against high-level opponents, to assess if the players have the necessary mental strength to stay focused despite not playing any league matches,” said Ellis.
With the women’s league action yet to resume in South Africa, Ellis believes the team is in good shape, better than when they were against Algeria.
“We are a little bit ahead than what we were when we played Algeria. Six weeks have been added on pre-season and clubs have played matches and tournaments,” said Ellis.
“Over the last year and a half, we played many of our matches with local players due to the quarantine protocols in different countries and now it is an opportunity for the players to test themselves further post the Aisha Buhari Cup.”