17 January 2018 – Captain of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Janine van Wyk, says playing the likes of Sweden is a great start to a year that will define women’s football.

2018 is the year when the South African Senior Women’s National Team will be playing qualifications matches for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, which will be held in Ghana later in the year, as well as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup scheduled for France.

Speaking to the media in Cape Town where they are holding a training camp, Van Wyk said they have a wonderful opportunity to grow as a team when they face tough opposition like Sweden, who are ranked 10th in the world.

Banyana Banyana lock horns with the Europeans on Sunday, 21 January 2018 at the Cape Town Stadium.

The international friendly match kicks off at 14h00.

“We are looking forward to the match, it will be my second time playing against Sweden and they are very tough opponents. It’s an honour and a privilege to have them in South Africa. They are the second international team to come to South Africa after The Netherlands, and it is always good to have such quality come and play us as they really help in terms of gauging how far we are,” said Van Wyk.

“We have say thank you to our sponsor Sasol, as well as the South African Football Association (SAFA) for all the support they have given women’s football. without them we would not be where we are right now.”

She adds they could not have asked for a better start to a crucial year for the national team.

“This is all about preparation for a very crucial year for Banyana Banyana and a wonderful start to the year. It is also the first game of the year so nothing can beat that – playing against such highly decorated opposition. We are really looking forward to competing against them. The moral in the team is very high and we are up for the challenge. It is going to be tough but in order for us to grow we have to play such games otherwise you remain stagnant and never learn,” added Van Wyk.

This will be the third time the two teams meet – and on both previous occasions it was at the Olympic Games, in 2012 London and 2016 Rio. South Africa lost both matches.

Entry to the match is free, but you need a ticket to gain access. These can be collected at Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers, Checkers Hyper or selected OK Furniture and USave stores.