Pauw wants Shakes in the mix

Johannesburg - Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw is looking forward to a productive work rapport with her men's counterpart, new Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba.

"It's very important that we work well together," Pauw said on Thursday.

"We have discussed a lot of things about football. Our offices are next to each other so we already have a good bond."

Pauw was speaking at the Nike Training Centre in Soweto, where she was preparing Banyana for the African Women's Championships (AWC) to be hosted in Namibia from October 11-25.

The mandate given to her by the South African Football Association (SAFA) was to steer the team to World Cup qualification -- a feat they can automatically achieve by finishing in the top three of the AWC.

"If we don't qualify for the World Cup then the entire development will suffer.

"President Danny Jordaan has made it very clear that in 2015 we have to qualify for the World Cup."

First on the agenda for Pauw, was to fine tune her players for the friendly match against Namibia at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

"We had planned to play against a top level international opponent but it didn't work out.

"Against Namibia we aim to improve our playing flexibility and playing style."

The former Holland international filled the role of technical director with the national team in her home country, Scotland and Russia.

Pauw believes SAFA's technical director, set to be appointed in the coming weeks, would have to invigorate the youth ranks for both men and women.

"South Africa really needs a direction in the sense of building an infrastructure that children can create their own pathways, that is less dependent on luck.

"Kids should strive to play and make it to the regional teams and then make it to the provincial teams and, eventually make it to the national youth teams."

Pauw said herself and other national team coaches need to pull in one direction for the greater good of soccer in the country.

"I can help them with my knowledge in video analysis because I'm a certified analyst as well.

"So I can advise and show them some things.

"And they can help me find the balance in teams and recommend players they have seen. There is a lot of respect between the coaches."

Banyana are set to square off against Cameroon in their opening match at the AWC on 12 October in Windhoek.

"We have the talent.

"They grew up playing football on the street.

"Many players from other countries have missed out on that.

"Like in Holland the players aren't as dynamic and skilful as South African players."

Although Banyana, who are ranked 51st in the world, have avoided a grouping with the 34th ranked Nigerians, Pauw said her team was prepared for the eventuality of having to face them.

"If we want to qualify for the World Cup we will have to get through Nigeria. Most likely we would have to meet them. Regardless we still need to win our games."

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