29 January 2018 – Following a disappointing FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifier exit in the final round of qualifiers against Nigeria, head coach of the South African U20 Women’s national team, Maud Khumalo encouraged her courageous troops to keep their heads up and continue working hard in their football careers.
Khumalo was speaking to her team after the youthful side bowed out of the world showpiece qualifiers at the hands of their eternal rivals, Nigeria at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, losing out on yet another FIFA World Cup appearance.
While Basetsana are yet to feature in a FIFA Women’s World Cup, Khumalo encouraged her youngsters to remain focused on their football careers as they have age on their side with a majority of the squad recently completing their matric while having to focus on the qualifiers.
“You still have age on your side and have done well to reach this stage of the qualifiers. The result did not go our way but that does not mean that you are failures. You fought hard like true champions and should you keep that spirit, you have a good future in football” said Khumalo.
The former Banyana Banyana player also thanked SAFA for the opportunity given to her to coach a national team. Speaking to SAFA.net upon arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport, Khumalo expressed her gratitude to the Association, saying that the opportunity given to her will go a long way in contributing to women’s football in the country.
“I would like to thank our football Association for trusting me with such a big task of coaching a national team. It is something I do not take lightly. The experience and lessons learnt will certainly go a long way in contributing to the growth of women’s football in our country”
Basetsana landed safely in Johannesburg on Monday morning at 05h30am after travelling from Benin City to Lagos from Sunday afternoon.