The South African U-17 Women’s National Team captain Jessica Wade says the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic is a double challenge for her and her young peers, adding it will take concerted hard work and discipline from them to juggle between school and the national team once everything is back to normality.

A Grade 11 learner at Waterstone College on the South of Johannesburg, Wade says she is using the break to study rigorously whilst working hard to maintain fitness too.

In the audio below, Wade explains:

Wade concedes the break couldn’t have come at a bad time for Bantwana as it has now disrupted their momentum following their recent exploits.

They beat Zambia 3-2 on aggregate a fortnight ago to progress to the next round of the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers and their next assignment was meant to be the Under 17 Cosafa Cup in Mauritius from the 17th – 26th of April, which has since been postponed.

Wade nevertheless trusts they will pick up where they left off.

The victory earned Bantwana a spot in the final round of the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup to be staged in India, as they joined four other teams – Cameroon, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.

Wade says her club, Janine Van Wyk (JVW) FC, has put together a series of online training regimes and activities for them to keep fit as the country goes through a lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

It remains to be seen what decisions will be put in place by the football powers post the lockdown.

Whilst admitting she isn’t a fan of playing behind closed doors, Wade urges the game leaders to thread carefully when implementing whatever decisions they will settle on. – Report by Tumi Gabonamong