SAFA : Historical moment for Banyana Banyana – Hilton-Smith

SAFA : Historical moment for Banyana Banyana – Hilton-Smith

The Technical Director of Women’s Football at the South African Football Association (SAFA), Fran Hilton-Smith, has described as a historical moment the clash between the United States Women’s National Team and Banyana Banyana.

97745d84e17bc0800a588a791e41213cHilton-Smith was speaking ahead of the squad’s departure to Chicago where the South Africans will face the Olympic and World Champions USA.

The match is in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games starting next month.

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana depart on Tuesday night (5 July 2016), with the match scheduled for Saturday, 9 July at Soldiers Field.

Hilton-Smith said this is a dream come true for many players.

This is the first time the two nations meet in women’s football.

“First of all I would like to wish the team the best of luck with the difficult task ahead of them. We all know just how good and strong the USA is in Women’s Football, hence their number one world ranking, and we could not have asked for better preparations for the Olympics,” said Hilton-Smith.

“Having said that, I believe our girls will give a good account of themselves. This is a historical moment for everyone involved to play world champions. It has been a dream of many players to face the USA and, thanks to SAFA and our proud sponsors Sasol, the dream will come true. I am just hoping the players seize the moment and carry the flag high. If at the end they feel they gave 200 percent, that’s all we can ask for.”

Banyana Banyana wrapped up their preparations on Tuesday morning at Waterstone College, south of Johannesburg.

After training, the entire team received gifts from Sasol as gratitude for qualification for the Olympics.

“This is our way at Sasol of saying thank you to Banyana Banyana once again for qualifying for the Olympics. I know we have said it many times before but it just shows how grateful we are for the achievement. These gifts are just a token of our appreciation from Sasol and we would also like to take this opportunity to wish the team the best of luck against the USA. We are very proud of this team, and the dedication they have shown throughout their preparations. We are behind you all the way,” said Brenda Mopeli – Sasol Brand Specialist and Marketing.

Banyana Banyana return to South Africa on Monday, 11 July.