18 October 2018 FIFA World Cup-bound squad of the South African U-17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) have secured two friendly matches against their counterparts from Mexico and Uruguay in preparation for the 2019 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on 13 November in Uruguay.

Bantwana will first face Mexico on Thursday, 1 November, followed by a clash with the host nation four days later (Monday, 5 November).

Head coach of South Africa, Simphiwe Dludlu, says the two games will play key role in getting the team ready for competition.

“We are scheduled to play two friendly matches and that is why we decided to leave early for the tournament, so as to help the players acclimatise to the conditions there before the competition kicks off. The key thing is to make sure that the players enjoy themselves when they are on the pitch,” said Dludlu.

“Secondly, they need to be free free when they play, given the fact that they will be competing on the world stage for the first time ever – and that will help them to play their normal game and showcase what they have as a collective in terms of performance.”

Bantwana held their first training session at Marks Park football grounds in Johannesburg on Thursday (18 October 2018).

Head coach Simphiwe Dludlu expressed her delight over her charges’ response in the session.

“The primary focus is to get them to gel together into a solid unit before we depart for Uruguay on Saturday. Our aim is to ensure that we perform to our utmost best and try to collect as many points from our group as possible and see where that will take us in the tournament.”