8 April 2023 – The South African senior women’s team has wasted no time getting to work as the African champions prepare to face the 35th-ranked Serbia in a friendly international on Monday (10 April 2023).
The SASOL-sponsored Banyana Banyana arrived in the European country on Friday and they have settled well at the Sports Centre of The Football Association Of Serbia, the same venue where the two sides square off on Monday.
Almost all the players are in camp in Serbia and Jermaine Seoposenwe will complete coach Desiree Ellis’ team when she arrive from Mexico on Saturday night. Noko Matlou has, however, been forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering an injury while with her club SD Eibar. Ellis hopes the player will recover soon and continue being part of the preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“Jermaine will arrive later today to join the team. I am happy to see everyone in the squad. Noko had some discomfort after her last game and went for a scan, but unfortunately the scan showed a muscle injury and she is out for a week or two. It is unfortunate for us but obviously the health comes first. We are wishing her a speedy recovery and we want to have her back as soon as possible. But I am happy to see the players in camp,” Ellis told www.safa.net.
The coach completed a video session with the players and her technical team on Saturday and told www.safa.netabout Banyana Banyana’s plan ahead of the match against the hosts.
“We watched Serbia against Bosnia (Serbia won 6-0), we also had a couple of their games of theirs and they play similar to what we had envisioned and what we have seen,” she said.
“This is going to test us defensively and offensively, and that is what we want. They play a lot of games during the FIFA breaks and like I said, they have beaten Germany before. It is going to be a difficult match, but we have worked on our defensive structure a lot as we need to be better at that. We also worked on our offensive structure and if we can put those two together, it would be a fantastic results for us.”
Banyana Banyana had an activation session on Friday afternoon and have their first official training session on Saturday, at 13:00pm at the Sports Centre of the Football Association of Serbia where the coaches will get an opportunity to fine-tune the team for Monday’s encounter.