The South African Senior Women’s National Team, Banyana Banyana, is fully focussed on the upcoming African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCN) qualifiers against Botswana.

The South African Senior Women’s National Team, Banyana Banyana, is fully focussed on the upcoming African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCN) qualifiers against Botswana.

The first leg will take place on Saturday, 9 April 2016 at Lobatse Sports Complex Stadium in Lobatse, Botswana.

Kickoff is at 16h00.

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw said it was important for the national team to qualify for all major tournaments.

“It is important that the team qualifies for all major tournaments. So we had to slightly alter our training programme because this month we are just focusing on qualifying for the AWC,” said Pauw.

“The clash against Botswana is now and the results are needed now, so we need to be ready now not later, hence we changed certain things in our training so as to be ready for this match. At this point we don’t talk about the Olympics but it’s just about qualification for AWC.”

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana recently returned from Cameroon where they played two international friendly matches against their Cameroonian counterparts. South Africa won the first match 2-0 in Douala and drew the second one 2-2 in Limbe.

“It was obvious that after five months of not playing competitive football it was a bit difficult to get going but I guess it was also the same for them.”

“In the second encounter, individual mistakes on our part let us down, but then again it is better to commit those mistakes now than during the tournament or in a competitive match. This sums up what I have been saying that if you play more games then those mistakes will be less,” added Pauw.

With just four months remaining before the start of the Games, Pauw believes they are slowly getting to the required fitness levels for competition.

“It is all going well but we are little bit behind physically and not as explosive as we would want to be. I believe the Cameroon match gave us a good outing and we are working on increasing that gradually – but as I said the focus now is on AWC and afterwards we will continue with our training programme for Rio,” concluded the Banyana Banyana mentor.

The South Africans left for Botswana on Tuesday, 5 April and return on Sunday, 10 April.

The second leg is penciled for Tuesday, 12 April 2016 at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.

Kick off at 19h00.

Meanwhile Pauw has called up goalkeeper Yolula Tsawe in place of the injured Busisiwe Ndimeni – she got injured in Cameroon.

(below is the full Banyana Banyana squad)

1. Roxanne BARKER Unattached  
2. Andile DLAMINI Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. Johannesburg
3. Mapaseka MPURU HPC Pretoria
4. Mpho TEFO Kanatla Ladies F.C. Polokwane
5. Yolula TSAWE JVW F.C Johannesburg
6. Lebogang RAMALEPE MaIndies F.C. Polokwane
7. Nothando VILAKAZI Palace Super Falcons F.C. Johannesburg
8. Janine VAN WYK JVW F.C. Johannesburg
9. Noko MATLOU MaIndies F.C. Polokwane
10. Lerato KGASAGO Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. Johannesburg
11. Nomathemba NTSIBANDE Springs Home Sweepers F.C. Johannesburg
12. Jabulile MAZIBUKO TUKS Pretoria
13. Bambanani MBANE Bloemfontein Celtic F.C. Bloemfontein
14. Letago MADIBA TUT Ladies Pretoria
15. Lebogang MABATLE TUKS Pretoria
16. Mamello MAKHABANE JVW F.C. Pretoria
17. Silindile NGUBANE Durban Ladies F.C. Pietermaritzburg
18. Refiloe JANE VUT Ladies F.C. Vaal
19. Amanda DLAMINI UJ Ladies F.C. Johannesburg
20. Leandra SMEDA UWC Ladies F.C. Cape Town
21. Nompumelelo NYANDENI JVW F.C. Johannesburg
22. Bongiwe THUSI Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. Johannesburg
23. Linda MOTLHALO HPC Pretoria
24. Stephanie MALHERBE Texas A & M University USA
25. Sanah MOLLO Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. Johannesburg
26. Shiwe NOGWANYA Bloemfontein Celtic F.C. Bloemfontein
27. Thembi KGATLANA UWC Ladies F.C. Cape Town
28. Chantelle ESSAU Palace Super Falcons F.C. Johannesburg
29. Andisiwe MGCOYI Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. Johannesburg