Van Wyk positive they will qualify
Ranked fourth on the continent, Banyana Banyana are undoubtedly one of the powerhouses of African women’s football but making their maiden Fifa World Cup appearance remains elusive.
It is because of this that Banyana captain Janine van Wyk, 31, emphasised the significance of excelling at the African Women’s Cup of Nations, to be hosted by Ghana from November 17 to December 1.
“It’s an emotional tournament because for some of us it might be our last opportunity to play at the World Cup. I strongly believe that this is the team that will take us to the our first World Cup,” said Van Wyk at the final squad announcement event at Safa House yesterday.
“We have a number of players who have been in the squad for so long, players with over 100 caps. It’s important that we execute our game plan and deliver to make sure we go to the World Cup in France,” noted Van Wyk who has over 150 Banyana caps.
Only a top-three finish in Ghana would see coach Desiree Ellis’s troops book their maiden World Cup ticket. Banyana are in Group B alongside defending champions Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya. They begin their campaign against the Super Falcons on November 18.
Apart from playing to make the nation proud, players have been promised bumper bonuses by the team’s main sponsor Sasol.
For just participating, the 21 players will share R840 000. Winning the tournament would see each player pocket R120 000, while finishing as