The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana has been holding a training camp since Sunday, 28 May which will come to an end today (Thursday, 1 June).
Interim head coach Desiree Ellis called up several new players to have a closer look at them and see if they can measure up to a higher level of competition.
One of those newcomers is midfielder Kholosa Biyana who plays for the University of KwaZulu Natal.
SAFA.net spoke to her about her call-up and experience in the South African Senior Women’s National Team camp.
Matlhomola Morake: How are you feeling?
Kholosa Biyana: I am very happy, I am excited and looking forward to everything that is going to happen here. I Just want to work hard that is all.
MM: You have had a few training sessions, how have things been going?
KB: Things have been going very well, and I have been adapting very well too. The players here are very supportive, I don’t feel alone when I am here. They are always here for me and whenever I make a mistake they are ready to help, so I really feel at home.
MM: When you first heard about the call-up, what was your reaction?
KB:I was so so excited. On the day the news came, we had gone out to dinner to celebrate my coach’s birthday. When we got the message, we were all so joyous, they were so happy for me – it was like a birthday present for my coach. I am very happy that I am here, I have been working very hard towards this achievement and now that I am here I need to continue working hard and not relax and hopefully I will make the team when there is a match.
MM: From club level to the national team for the first time, what’s your impression?
KB: It is way different. The intensity here is very high. The players here are fast and the football played is also quick, so adapting was my number one goal and I managed that. Because I am a hardworking person, I know and trust that I can push hard and be at the same level with the other players who have been here longer.
MM: What are your hopes and ambitions now that you have made the training squad?
KB: The first goal has been achieved, to be recognised and called up to this camp, which says they saw something in me. Now I need to work harder to reach the second goal – to be part of Banyana Banyana on a long term basis. This is just a training camp but it’s a good start for me and all the other players who have been selected for the first time. We have the opportunity so we must not waste it. The coaches know what they want and we have to understand that and take it from there. My plan is to stay for as long as it takes and only hard work will help me.
MM: Before you were called up, who were you looking up to at Banyana Banyana?
KB: I have always looked up to Refiloe Jane and Amanda Dlamni (who is not part of this camp). But Refiloe has always been an inspiration as I have played with her at the World Student Games and we are also working hard to make the selection for the squad at this year’s World Student Games which will be held in Taipei City, Taiwan in August. Being part of the same squad and playing alongside her has always been what I wanted in life. She has always been a very good person and she is dedicated in all she does and that is the reason she performs so well.
MM: So you find yourself here, and play with the likes of Mpumi Nyandeni, Roxanne Barker, Andile Dlamini, Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Leandra Smeda, Rhoda Mulaudzi, Lebo Ramalepe – all experienced players in Banyana Banyana, what goes on in your mind?
KB: One can’t help but be happy and proud to be part of the squad, those are great name players. It’s never easy when you play alongside players that you have previously only seen on television. So now that I am here, I am going to work hard to stay here and hopefully someday I will be at the same level as they are.