Banyana Banyana’s Russia-based midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni believes the national team’s secret recipe is the hunger for success which wasn’t present to this extent in the team four years ago.
The former Detroit Ladies (Sasol League Mpumalanga) playmaker, who these days wears the colours of FC Rossiyank in the Russian women’s league, has already joined her team-mates at the national team training camp in Hennef, Germany.
She expressed her excitement about being a part of Banyana Banyana’s first appearance at the Olympic Games later this month in London.
“I have been a part of the Banyana Banyana set-up since 2002 and there has been a new vibe in the squad and in the Sasol League over the past four years, and SAFA and Sasol need to be commended for the efforts being made to take women’s football in South Africa to a new level,” said Nyandeni.
The twenty-four year-old has 93 Banyana Banyana caps to her name, and has scored 27 goals.
“SAFA and Sasol have made us feel like champions since the partnership began four years ago and so many new players have come to the fore thanks to the platforms put in place,” she added.
Nyandeni’s passion for coaching and helping the next era of rising stars to reach their potential is close to her heart.
“I would like to see more women becoming involved in football in South Africa, in particular as coaches. In Russia many of the clubs in the women’s league are coached by women, but in South Africa it’s different,” said Nyandeni.
“When I retire from playing football, I would like to be involved as a coach or a referee and I encourage women in this country, who have a passion for football, to get involved with the Beautiful Game, beyond just being football players.”
Nyandeni described each Banyana Banyana call up as a special moment for her, saying, “I am always pleased to be called up to represent the nation. The vibe in the camp is great as we want to seize the moment and do our country proud at the Olympics. Yes, we are going into unknown terrain, a level of play that we have never experienced before, but I am sure that the nerves will settle quickly once the action kicks off.”
Banyana Banyana will play against German Women’s Premier League side Bayer 04 Leverkusen in a practice match on Thursday, 12 July 2012 (19h30 kick-off).
They also have an international friendly match lined up against Great Britain before returning home.
The encounter will take place in Birmingham, England on Sunday, 15 July 2012 (14h00 SA time).