Vice President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Ms. Ria Ledwaba, visited the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana on the final day of their training camp at the SAFA Football Training Centre on Friday, 10 August 2018.
SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble as well as SAFA Assistant Technical Director, Fran Hilton-Smith, accompanied Ledwaba, the first woman Vice President of the Association.
She believes South Africa has what it takes to retain the trophy they won in Zimbabwe last year.
“I came here to tell you that you are indeed blessed as players. You have just finished with your training camp, and the next challenge for you is the COSAFA Women’s Championship. Without putting too much pressure on you, we are confident that you will go there and fight to retain the trophy, which will help you head into the AFCON tournament with a lot of confidence,” said Ledwaba.
The Vice President added that it is at the AFCON where South Africa needs to show their mettle.
“As a nation, we are waiting in anticipation for Banyana Banyana to qualify for the World Cup – something that has eluded this squad for years. We believe in you, like we always have, and we also believe that your time has come to qualify for the FIFA World Cup – there’s not better time like the present,” added Ledwaba.
“I have seen most of you play and I know we have a very good squad that can do the business in Ghana. France beckons for you, the question is are you ready? I believe you are. Go to Ghana and make the country proud.”
Ledwaba also spoke to the squad about the upcoming Women’s National League, about Vision 2022 as well as how the SAFA structures work – especially for those players who are new in the national team setup.
Banyana Banyana have returned to their clubs to play league football, and are expected back in camp in the first week of September to resume preparations for the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship, which will be hosted in South Africa.
A squad of 20 players will be announced soon to take part in the tournament.