Five international matches for Banyana before Olympics

2012-05-16 14:09

Banyana Banyana will play five international matches before travelling to the Olympic Games in London in July.

The games will include one against Tanzania this weekend and the African Women’s Championship qualifier against Zambia next Saturday.

Coach Joseph Mkhonza said the other three matches will be against overseas opponents.

“We have identified our next three opponents but the negotiations are still going on. At the moment, I won’t be in the position to announce our opposition,” said Mkhonza.

He would like Banyana to play more European and Asians teams as part of their Olympics preparations.

Already this year, Banyana have played five international matches at the Cyprus Cup in February.

“We can still play them (some of those opponents) before the Olympics. I want them because they’re strong opponents and most of them have been in the World Cup.”

“I don’t want to overwork players. We don’t want to see players suffer from burn-out,” he added.

Mkhonza has selected 18 players for the match against Lusaka in Zambia.

“Our friendly match against Tanzania is very crucial for us as we prepare for the African Championships.

"It is important for the team to take on strong international competition on the road to the Olympics as we will be playing away.

"We haven’t played a match since March as the Sasol League is in recess, so these friendly matches are helping to keep the players in good condition,” said Mkhonza.

Veteran midfielder Portia Modise has been included in the squad that will take on Tanzania and Zambia.

Mkhonza said Russian-based midfielder Mpumi Nyandeni will join the squad next week while
Kylie-Ann Louw is expected tomorrow.

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