13 September 2017 – Head coach of the South African U20 women’s national team, Maud Khumalo is not looking too much into her sides recent accomplishment over Swaziland.
Coming fresh from a 5-0 victory over the Swaziland senior national team, Basetsana are gearing up for their opening FIFA World Cup qualifier encounter against Namibia on Sunday, 17 September at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
The first leg of two will kick off the beginning of Khumalo’s quest to help the nation qualify for their first ever FIFA World Cup competition set to take place between 7 and 24 September in France next year.
But this will not come easy says the former senior women’s national team player who also coaches a men’s development side in the nation’s capital of Pretoria.
Speaking to SAFA.net during the week, Khumalo emphasised the importance of not getting carried away by the result over Swaziland as Namibia will be a totally new ball game.
“We had a very good result against Swaziland and I think it was a major confidence booster. Our main focus was to look at how we play, analyzing or strengths, weaknesses and how players complement one another. We had a good opportunity to work on our tactics” said Khumalo.
“But this does not mean that we have arrived. We need to remain focus and disciplined at all times. Everyone wants to play in a World Cup and we therefore need to work extra hard to ensure that we are a cut above the rest”
The coach is now assisted by former national teammate, Simphiwe “Shorty” Dludlu who is also head coach of the U17 national side.
Khumalo will be looking to star players such as Linda Mohlalo (19) who travelled with Banyana Banyana to the Rio Olympics last year to carry the team when it gets tough. The squad boasts exciting talent such as Lelona Dewat who scored a hatrick against Swaziland.
A victory for Khumalo’s charges will ease the pressure going into the return leg at the Sam Nujomo Stadium in Windhoek on 30 September.