Banyana Banyana start the defence of the Cosafa Women’s’ Championship against the little known Comoros Island in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday. After a successful hosting of the event in 2018, an agreement between Cosafa and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been reached that the Friendly City will host the next three editions of this regional tournament.
Banyana Banyana, despite the absence of their overseas based players, have assembled a strong squad. 14 members of the squad of 20 were at the recent World Cup in France.
Back in the squad is mid-fielder, Robyn Moodally, whose last appearance for the national team was in 2016.
Coach, Desiree Ellis, highlighted the importance of winning the first game.
“If you don’t do well, you are always on the back foot. We need to do well; otherwise the experience that we gained at the World Cup will do nothing. We have to show why we were at the World Cup. We’ve got to show what we learnt at the World Cup in the field of play.”
Comoros are maybe a closed book to Banyana, but they are not underestimating them. Banyana midfielder Bambanani Mbane says that the game is not going to be an easy one.
“It’s not going to be easy; we don’t want to underestimate any team. We want to take one game at a time. So we will do our best.”
Goalkeeper Kaylin Swart says that they have been working hard in training.
“We know what we came here to do; we have done all the hard work. What we have been doing at training, we have to replicate it in the game.”
The 12 participating nations are divided in three groups of four teams each. South Africa is in Group A with Comoros, Malawi and Madagascar.