07 October 2022 – History will made when the South African senior women’s national team tackles 2023 FIFA women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia in a friendly international at the Kingsmeadow stadium in London, United Kingdom, on Saturday afternoon.
This will be a historic match as it the first meeting between the two nations who are both using this encounter as preparation for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana went into camp on Monday, 3 October 2022 in Johannesburg and had their first serious training session on Tuesday before the team departed for the United Kingdom on the same day.
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis believes the team is in good spirits and ready for the challenge after three training sessions in London.
“We settled in very well upon arrival after a long flight. We had a good training session yesterday and today we have our Match-day -1 training session.” Ellis said.
“Everyone is in, we have our players from abroad to join the group and we have the full squad.”
Ellis believes improvement will be vital after the team’s defeat against Brazil last month.
“We made a lot of mistakes against Brazil and we are looking for an improved performance in all areas, be better defensively and manage the ball well and be better in decision-making.”
When asked about the impact of winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Ellis said it had changed the narrative on women’s sport.
“Winning the WAFCON was huge. It has not only changed the narrative in women’s football, but it has changed the narrative in women’s sport.”
Australian coach Tony Gustavsson, who had more time to prepare his team ahead of this match, spoke about how it was a privilege to get so many training sessions under his belt.
“Training has been a privilege in that sense, a few players did not play over the weekend so they came in completely fresh on Monday. So we could be up and running on our Monday session and train five days in the row, as well as a couple of double sessions,” said Gustavsson.
“In terms of training content, this has been the best week we have experienced in terms of the work we have been able to do together.”