19 February 2018 – President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Dr Danny Jordaan, has reiterated that they will support the South African U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) with everything possible to make sure they are well prepared for the the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.
The triumphant Bantwana returned to the country on Sunday, 18 February after booking their spot at the world football spectacle with a 1-0 goal against Morocco this past weekend (winning 6-1 on aggregate).
The squad, led by head coach Simphiwe Dludlu, her assistant Maud Khumalo, Head of Delegation Gladwin White as well as captain Kaylin Jordaan, was received by the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Dr Danny Jordaan, SAFA NEC members Anthony Reeves, Nomsa Mahlangu, Nastasia Tschiclasas and CEO Dennis Mumble.
This is the second time South Africa qualify for the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup – the last time was in 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr Jordaan said Bantwana’s achievements in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup had just underscored how the game was growing among women in the country.
“This is a phenomenal achievement and is consolidated on the administration side where we are pushing strongly for women participation in football. We want to have one million female participants in the game by 2022,” said Dr Jordaan.
“What you have done shows a lot of improvement on women’s football in South Africa. I believe you have now inspired many with this result.”
The President added that the Association will do all it can to make sure that the team is well prepared ahead of the tournament in Uruguay in November and December.
Only three countries will represent the African continent at the tournament.
The other two nations are Ghana and Cameroon.
An elated Bantwana coach Simphiwe Dludlu said the sky is the limit with regards to the potential of this team.
“These girls are resilient and will achieve great things. We want mass participation for women to grow the game and I am glad all is on course. The future is bright provided we all support this dream, that means we need the support of the media, fans, parents, sponsors and all those who love this sport. If we have the support, I tell you we will deliver. We want a good story to tell when we come back,” said Dludlu.
The former Banyana Banyana captain urged the players not to only concentrate on football but education as well. She praised the High Performance Centre for producing high quality players, adding the future looks great.
“I want to tell you that we are going to Uruguay not to make up the numbers but to make a statement because this team is driven by passion and desire and we have grown in so many ways. ,” she said.
Bantwana have not lost a game in the qualifiers.
They received a bye in the preliminary round, and faced neighbours Botswana in the first round in December 2017.
South Africa played the first leg away, winnning 5-2, before wrapping it up two weeks later with a 6-4 victory (11-6 on aggregate).
In the new year, South Africa hosted Morocco at the Dobsonville Stadium and won the first leg encounter 5-1 – setting one foot in Uruguay.
Their passage to the greatest football spectacle was confirmed when they beat Morocco 1-0 away.
Team captain Kaylin Jordaan, says this is a dream come true.
“As a young girl I have always loved football, but the biggest dream for me was always to play in a World Cup. The fact that we have qualified for this greatest football spectacle is a dream come true. What remains now is for us to go there and represent our country well. I am proud of my teammates for the work they have put in to get us here and I am thankful to the coaches too. And gratitude also goes to SAFA for making it possible for us to compete and thank you South Africa for all the support,” said Jordaan.
SA U17 WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM WCQ RESULTS:
Friday, 1 December 2017
Lobatse Sports Complex
1st Leg 1st Round
Botswana 2 – 5 South Africa
Saturday, 16 December 2017
2nd Leg 1st Round
South Africa 6 – 4 Botswana
Sunday, 4 February 2018
1st Leg 2nd Round
South Africa 5 – 1 Morocco
Saturday, 17 February 2018
Stade Boubker Ammar
2nd Leg 2nd Round
Morocco 0 – 1 South Africa