8 December 2022 – National Under-17 women’s national team coach, Delisile Mbatha, is bracing for a tough match against Botswana as her charges prepare for the semifinal match between the two sides in the football competition at the Region 5 Games in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Mbatha said she expects Botswana to ask serious questions of her players when the two teams face off in this COSAFA u/17 semifinal on Thursday, 8 December 2022.

“The preparations for the semifinals have been going very well, and they have been good. We have a slight challenge because we have an injury and a suspension due to two yellow cards. But the good thing is we came here prepared and the squad has depth. So it is good to give other players a chance and see if it is possible to use them in the future,” she said.

“Botswana are not like the other teams we have faced in this competition, They are not like Namibia and Malawi. They like to keep the ball, keep possession and this will force us to mark them for 90 minutes. “

Mbatha said she hopes that one or two of her players attract the attention of Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis as she prepares for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.

“It is all about development and we need to make sure that these players are confident going forward. With Banyana Banyana playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year, it would be good if coach Desiree can pick a player or two and take them to the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

“It would show we have got consistency. When we develop these girls we need to make sure that they can stand the test of time, and compete against any team. We need to make sure that we get positive results going our way as the South African Football Association.”