SAFA : Banyana Banyana and SA u23 wrap up their South African preparations

SAFA : Banyana Banyana and SA u23 wrap up their South African preparations

Banyana Banyana and the South African u23 National Team have all but wrapped up their preparations on home soil, as they get ready to depart for Brazil for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games starting next month.

20160324-brazil-768x353The two national teams qualified for the world’s biggest sporting spectacle last year in October (Banyana Banyana with a win over Equatorial Guinea) in December 2015 and (SA u23 coming third at the CAF u23 AFCON in Senegal).

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana squad has played friendly games against Cameroon, Zimbabwe, The Netherlands and the USA as well as two home and away African Women’s Qualifiers against Botswana. They have also been holding training camps in between.

In Rio, they will face Sweden, China and hosts Brazil.

“It has been a very long and hard journey for all of us when we started camp back in November last year, now we can’t wait to get to Brazil for the start of competition. I must admit we have had one of the best preparations where we faced, amongst others, the world’s top ranked national team, the USA – what more can we ask for? We have to thank SAFA for all the efforts in making sure we are well prepared for the Olympics, not forgetting our proud sponsors Sasol and our partner National Lotteries Commission for travelling the journey with us, we can never thank you enough,” said Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw.

“What remains now is for us to get to Rio and round off preparations with our last friendly match against New Zealand. I am happy with the progress we have made, and the players are in a good condition. This week we changed our programme to start adapting to the Brazilian times and we are getting used to it, which means there won’t be much of a struggle to adapt. We will do our best and ensure we fly the flag high.”

Banyana Banyana will face New Zealand on Thursday, 28 July in Rio.

The SA u23 travelled to Brazil for an international friendly match, won the 2016 COSAFA Cup in Namibia and then faced Japan to get ready for the competition.

“We are fortunate enough that our players are playing professional football and they have been able to keep in shape even long after the end of the season. We also have to thank SAFA for allowing us to play in the COSAFA Cup as well as all the partners – like the Nationa;l Lotteries Commission, who supported us with our preparations,” said SA u23 coach Owen da Gama.

“I believe we have selected a team strong enough to hold their own anywhere and against anyone and we are eagerly looking forward to the opening match against the hosts which will determine our way forward. I remain confident that we will do well.”

The SA u23 team is in the same group as Brazil, Denmark and Iraq.

Da Gama’s charges last qualified for the Olympics 15 years ago under the guidance of current Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim Shakes Mashaba while this is Banyana Banyana’s second qualification in a row.

“We are very proud of the great work these two teams have done, putting South Africa and SAFA on the map, once again. The qualification is just an indication that Vision 2022 is alive and well, and we on the right track. We could not have done this without our financial partners Sasol and the support of the National Lotteries Commission – they came to the party when they were needed the most, to assist with this mammoth task of preparing a team for the Olympics and we are forever indebted to them,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.”

“As Banyana Banyana and the SA u23 squad are about to depart from these shores to battle it out with the best in the world, let me take this opportunity to once again wish them a safe journey and a successful tournament. To the players, your coaches have done everything they could to prepare you for the battle ahead, what is left is for you take the ball and run with it. Good luck and may you return victorious.”

The two South African sides depart on Saturday, 23 July 2016 as Team South African under the banner of SASCOC.

Ends.

Banyana Banyana Fixtures for 2016 Olympics:

Wednesday 03 August
Sweden vs South Africa
Olympic Stadium
13h00 (18h00 SA Time)

Saturday 06 August
South Africa vs China
Olympic Stadium
19h00 (12h00 midnight SA Time)

Tuesday 09 August
South Africa vs Brazil
Amazonia Arena (Manaus)
21h00 (02h00 Wednesday, 10 Aug SA Time)

SA u23 Men’s Olympic Fixtures:

Thursday 4 August
Brazil vs SA – 4 Aug
Mane Garrincha Stadium
Brasilia
16h00 (21h00 SA Time)

Sunday 7 August
Denmark vs South Africa
Mane Garrincha Stadium
Brasilia
19h00 (02h00 Monday, 8 Aug SA Time)

Wednesday 10 August
South Africa vs Iraq
Corinthians Arena
Sao Paulo
22h00 (03h00 Thursday, 11 Aug SA Time)

Banyana Banyana squad to 2016 Olympics

Goalkeepers

1. Roxanne Barker                         SC Heerenveen                            The Netherlands

2. Andile Dlamini                          Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies        Johannesburg

Defenders

3. Nothando Vilakazi                     Palace Super Falcons FC              Johannesburg

4. Janine Van Wyk (c)                    JVW FC                                        Johannesburg

4. Noko Matlou                              MaIndies FC                                 Polokwane

5. Bambanani Mbane                     Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies          Bloemfontein

6. Leandra Smeda                          UWC Ladies                                 Cape Town

Midfielders

7. Mamello Makhabane                 JVW FC                                         Johannesburg

9. Amanda Dlamini                       JVW FC                                          Johannesburg

10. Refiloe Jane                             Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies          Johannesburg

11. Nompumelelo Nyandeni         JVW FC                                          Johannesburg

12. Linda Motlhalo                       JVW FC                                          Johannesburg

13. Stephanie Malherbe               Texas A & M University                  USA

14. Robyn Moodaly                     Un. Of Northwestern Ohio               USA

Forwards

15. Lebohang Ramalepe             MaIndies FC                                       Polokwane

16. Sanah Mollo                         Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies              Johannesburg

17. Shiwe Nogwanya                 Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies                Bloemfontein

18. Jermaine Seoposenwe         Samford University                             USA

ADDITIONAL PLAYERS

19. Kaylin Swart                       Menlo College                                    U.S.A

20. Nomathemba Ntsibande     Springs Home Sweepers                     Johannesburg

21. Thembi Kgatlana               UWC Ladies                                        Cape Town

22. Chantelle Esau                   Palace Super Falcons FC                     Johannesburg

SA u23 Olympic squad:

GOALKEEPERS:

1. Jody FEBRUARY                                             Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)

2. Itumeleng KHUNE                                            Kaizer Chiefs FC  (SA)

DEFENDERS

3. Kwandakwentsizwa MNGONYAMA               Maritzburg United FC (SA)

4. Rivaldo COETZEE                                           Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)

5. Abbubaker MOBARA                                       Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

6. Mothobi MVALA                                              Highlands Park FC (SA)

7. Erick MATHOHO                                             Kaizer Chiefs FC (SA)

8. Tebogo MOERANE                                          Bidvest Wits FC (SA)

9. Tercious MALEPE                                            Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

MIDFIELDERS:

10. Gift MOTUPA                                                 Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

11. Maphosa MODIBA                                          Cape Town FC (SA)

12. Deolin MEKOA                                               Maritzburg United FC (SA)

13. Keagan DOLLY                                               Mamelodi Sundowns  (SA)

14. Phumlani NTSHANGASE                              Bidvest Wits FC (SA)

STRIKERS:

15. Menzi MASUKU                                            Orlando Pirates FC (SA)

16. Tashreeq MORRIS                                          Ajax Cape Town FC (SA)

17. Lebogang MOTHIBA                                      Lille F.C  (France)

18. Tyroane SANDOWS                                       Gremio FC (Brazil)

Additional Players:

1. Nkosingiphile GUMEDE                                  Golden Arrows FC (SA)

2. Andile FIKIZOLO                                            Golden Arrows FC (SA)

3. Thapelo MORENA                                           Bloemfontein Celtic FC (SA)

4. Thabiso KUTUMELA                                      Orlando Pirates FC (SA)