9 November 2018 – The national U17 women’s team are currently in Uruguay preparing for the FIFA World Cup and Bantwana will begin their quest for a world title with a Group B match against Mexico on 13 November at the Estadio Domingo Burgueno Miguel in Maldonado.

Kickoff is at 17:00 local time which will 22:00 in South African time.

SAFA.net caught up with Bantwana utility player Jessica Wade to touch base on the team preparations and readiness and this how the interview went:

 Jessica thank you for your time. How has Uruguay been so far?

JW: I think it’s great here, the weather is great as well. Its not too cold or too hot, the climate is very nice. It’s a bit hard to adapt to the time difference here but I think we have and its been great.

How have the World Cup preparations been  so far?

JW: Our preparations  have really been good since we have been here we have played two friendlies. One went really well and the second one probably not the best result for us but I think we played very well and fought quite hard. The preparation before this has also been great, we participated in the BRICS tournament and went to play two matches in Spain

Talking about the two friendlies you played in Uruguay, was there a difference between playing the club in Canadians SC  and a World Cup team?

JW: I think there was quite a big difference between both teams. The club team obviously not being as strong and the World Cup team proving much more competition for us.

To make it big in this tournament, what do you think you need to do as a team?

JW: We really need to play as a team. Fight for each other. We need to score goals and we also need to stop goals. Most importantly we just need to work together as a unit.

Did it ever cross your mind that you could be representing your country at such a big stage as a World Cup at this very time?

JW: To be honest I didn’t. I didn’t think there were that many opportunities for us. I didn’t think we could qualify for a World Cup you know in South Africa we don’t have a professional women’s soccer league so we were at a disadvantage and we made the best of this opportunity.

Many young girls sit and watch you wondering what do they need to do to reach this level and also parents who want their children to get to this level of the game. What advice would you give them?

JW: From the parents’ side, I think that it’s a lot of sacrifice from them as well. They need to support their child through the journey. They need to be there for them, help them to get to practice and get them to games. From the kids’ side, you just have to work hard. Everything in life is about working hard and you have to believe that you can get there and you will get there because you have worked for it.