Banyana Banyana Coach Desiree Ellis says they will approach the Cyprus Cup with a winning mentality.
The 2019 women’s Africa Cup of Nations finalists finished sixth in 2018 in Cyprus, and Ellis is confident that this time they will go for broke.
South Africa is in Group A with Finland, Korea DPR and Czech Republic.
The participating countries in the Cyprus Cup were previously grouped according to their respective world rankings.
This always made it difficult for Banyana Banyana to make a big impact.
But now the rules have been changed which gives all the participating teams an equal chance.
Ellis says, “Last year, we got out best position ever; 6 out of 12, but now we have an opportunity to win it and we are no any different to any other team that goes to a tournament. We want to win it, but we also want to look at improved performances.”
The Cyprus tournament will test Banyana Banyana players physically and mentally, less than four months before the World Cup in France.
The coach has been strategic in her selection. She’s roped in a few players who can play in different positions.
Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo are some of the players with special qualities.
Kgatlana says, “As a team, we look at the Cyprus Cup as an adventure for us because we know we are going to the World Cup and it’s going to be intense and we would want to see a lot of players who are going to be versatile changing.”
Motlhalo says, “I mean we played against Sweden and Netherlands. We showed that we are capable of playing with highly-ranked teams.”
Group A is not a closed book for South Africa. Banyana recently played against all the teams who are in the group.
They played Finland and Czech Republic in 2015 and they went on to play Korea DPR in 2018.
It will be South Africa’s seventh appearance at the tournament.