Banyana upbeat

2010-10-24 11:37

With the likes of Booth, Batista, Diego, Dunga, Drogba and Ballack in their line-up, no one should stop Banyana Banyana from winning the Caf African Women’s Championships.

These names are synonymous with the world’s most prolific football stars and with Banyana’s team comprising players nicknamed after these stars, the likes of Tanzania, Nigeria and Mali are in for a hiding when the tournament kicks off on Sunday.

And if Banyana could do as well as their captain Simphiwe Dludlu wishes, the South African senior women’s team will be on its way to its maiden World Cup next year.

Dludlu says the team goes into the contest with one thing in mind: qualifying for the World Cup in Germany.

She said their dream was not far-fetched, urging all South ­Africans to support them as they did Bafana Bafana during the World Cup.

Dludlu said nothing was ­impossible, and that nothing would ­impede their progress to Germany.

“Anything is possible in football and there will be no better chance for us than the one presented by this tournament. We are all ­focused on not just booking a place in the finals of the World Cup, but also winning the tournament,” said Dludlu.

With President Jacob Zuma confirming his attendance at the opening game, Dludlu said they will not disappoint him.

Even without the likes of midfielder Mpumi Nyandeni, whose Russian club has refused to ­release her, Banyana should still qualify for the semifinals.

Augustine Makalakalane has selected only two overseas-based players in Roxanne Barker of Pepperdine College and Kylie Ann Louw of Austin College both in the US.

Also drafted is Santos’ midfielder Jermaine Seoposengwe (17) who was part of Bantwana at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.

Banyana trailed hosts ­Equatorial Guinea in the previous tournament two years ago, but believe they can win at home.

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