29 October 2018 – South Africa national U17 Women’s Team head coach Simphiwe Dludlu has spelled out her plans for the team ahead of the start of the FIFA U17 World Cup set to kickoff on 13 November 2018 in Uruguay.
Bantwana who held training camps in Spain and at home before flying out of the country on Saturday, 27 October 2018 in a 10-hourflight to Brazil where they had a stopover. The team then proceeded to Uruguay on Sunday morning and are the first team in the tournament to arrive in the host country something coach Dludlu believes could just be a masterstroke.
“The plan is to be the first in and the last out out,” said Dludlu.
“We are visionaries, “bathi ithemba alibulali/hope does not kill” and that’s what we want to do. Good preparation doesn’t guarantee success however, it gives you a better chance to succeed that is why we came early.
“It gives us a chance to mark our territory as early as possible and that’s very critical. Above all, to be able to dream when you are in a place, to see it, touch it, feel it and get to smell everything makes the dream become more vivid so that’s the whole point for us arriving early,” added Dludlu.
The head coach has a strong supporting staff which includes assistant coach Maud Khumalo, the head coach of the national U20 Women’s team and national U20 men’s head coach Thabo Senong who is serving as an advisor.
The team notably also has a performance analyst Phuphu Mohlaba and an opposition scout Tiro van Rooyen who uses modern technology to provide support to the team.
This is the second time Bantwana have qualified for the FIFA World Cup, having done so in 2010 where they crashed out in the group stages. Dludlu believes that the experience of those involved in that team will serve as a springboard for this generation to do better.
“The biggest person who sat down with us to say, we can can do it and we stand a better chance this time was Fran Hilton-Smith who was a team manager in that previous team” said the Bantwana coach.
“When she looked at us, she said the girls that were in the 2010 team didn’t stand chance because of a lack of adequate preparation something which has been addressed with this group with all the camps held in Spain as well as in the country,” added Dludlu.
The team will play their first match on 13 November 2018 against Mexico at 17:00 (10pm SA Time) and the matche will be broadcast on SuperSport.
13/11/2018 14:00 Brazil vs Japan – Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado
13/11/2018 17:00 Mexico vs South Africa -Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado
16/11/2018 14:00 Japan vs South Africa –Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado
16/11/2018 17:00 Mexico vs Brazil – Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado
20/11/2018 14:00 Japan vs Mexico – Estadio Domingo Burgueño, Maldonado
20/11/2018 14:00 South Africa vs Brazil – Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo