Bafana overshadow Banyana’s Olympic preparation 

By Michael Madyira

Bafana Bafana’s homecoming show has overshadowed Banyana Banyana’s preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The women’s national team has been quietly conducting training after the goalkeepers reported for camp last Friday, with the rest of the local players joining on Monday.

The team are readying themselves to travel to Tanzania for the first-leg qualifiers set for 23 February before the return leg four days later.

A few months ago, the women’s national team was the talk of the town after reaching the knockout phase of the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Their impressive World Cup run sparked backlash against their then-struggling male counterparts, as fans challenged the men’s team to emulate the success of Banyana.

But Bafana’s impressive performance at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, where they came third, saw a homecoming party on Wednesday morning taking centre stage.

Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is, however, fully focused on the job at hand with her local players who are coming from pre-season training.

“Some players have put in a lot of work,” Ellis told Safa media.

“Thank you to the clubs as well for the work that they put in during the pre-season. On Monday we were a bit rusty but on Tuesday we were much better.”

Ellis said the team are trying to find their energy and connection because the group of players haven’t been together for a while. 

“[But] it is not difficult to find that connection,” she said.

The reigning African women’s champions are seeking to return to the Olympics after missing out on the 2020 edition.

Pictured above: Banyana Banyana players

Image source: Banyana Banyana


Recent articles