By FOCUS REPORTER
BANYANA Banyana Banyana’s training in the scorching heat in Stellenbosch may be just the tonic to prepare the national team for their campaign at the twelve-nation Cyprus Women’s Cup from February 28-March 6.
The South African Senior Women’s National Team will open their campaign against South Korea on the February 28 at 2.30pm.
Head coach, Joseph Mkhonza believes that the climatic conditions in Stellenbosch could be the perfect preparation for an early afternoon kick-off in Cyprus.
“We are keeping a close eye on the heat here in Stellenbosch and monitoring the players’ fluid intake and weight during the camp, and if the heat is really too much then we adjust our training schedule times accordingly,” said Mkhonza, who planned Banyana’s campaign to 13 wins from 17 matches in 2011, including qualification for the 2012 London Olympics.
In Cyprus, Banyana ’s other group fixtures will be against New Zealand on March 1 at 5.30pm and Northern Ireland on March 4 at the same time. The top side in the two groups will proceed to contest the final.
Striker Sanah Mollo, who plays her football for Bloemfontein Celtic in the Sasol League (Free State) said: “The fact that Banyana could field two strong teams on the same day in September last year against Ethiopia in the Olympic Qualifier and in the All-Africa Games in Mozambique, is a sign of the depth that has been created in women’s football in South Africa thanks to the efforts of SAFA and team sponsor Sasol.”
“One can see the effort being put in by the players at this camp as nobody wants to fall short and miss out on being chosen for the Banyana team to compete at the Olympics in London in July this year,” added Mollo, who has scored four goals in her 17 appearances for the national team.