10 April 2023 – Banyana Banyana wrapped up their final training session on Sunday afternoon and it is now up to the players to execute the plan well against Serbia when the two teams face-off on Monday (10 April 2023) at the SC FA of Serbia – Stara Pazova (kick off is at 13:30).
The SASOL-sponsored South African senior national team arrived in Serbia on Friday morning and immediately got down to business in preparation for their highly anticipated international friendly against the hosts.
Despite Serbia’s failure to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the side’s form in the last four games and their standing on the FIFA rankings does favor the European team. Coach Dragiša Zečević’s charges are unbeaten in the last three games (WDW) and are currently ranked at 35 in the latest FIFA rankings. The African champions, on the other hand, suffered one defeat in the last three games (LWD) and are ranked at number 54 in the world.
But Banyana Banyna co-captain Refiloe Jane insists that the FIFA ranking will not matter when the two sides meet for the first time on Monday.
“They are a very physical team, they are very tactical and technical, and it will not be easy. They are ranked above us but that says nothing at the end of the day if we put in a good performance, prepare very well and implement what we we learned at training into the game, then it will make it easier for the girls,” Jane told www.safa.net.
The skipper praised the new additions in the team for putting in the hard work and adjusting to the high intensity at national team level.
“It is important for the new players to gel in quickly and as senior players we try to teach them as much as we can because we don’t have much time before the World Cup. The sooner they adjust to the culture and the work that we put in, then the door is open for everyone. They have gelled very well so far and the work that they are putting in is showing.”
Coach Desiree Ellis has 21 players in camp instead of the originally selected 23 after Noko Matlou and Nthabiseng Majiya withdrew due to injuries.