Banyana Banyana coach, Vera Pauw has named a strong 21-player squad to represent the country at the 10th edition of the CAF African Women’s Championship, which will be held in Namibia from 11 – 25 October 2014.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have been drawn in the “Group of Death” together with Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana. They face Cameroon in their opening match of the group on Sunday, 12 October at the Independence Stadium. Banyana Banyana started preparations for Namibia immediately after beating the Union of Comoros 13 – 0 in their qualifying match. Vera Pauw started preparations with 31 players and had to trim the squad to 21 players as per the CAF rules.
Goalkeeper, Roxanne Barker is the only overseas based player included in the squad, while the rest of the players all play for Sasol league teams in different provinces. “This is the worst part of my job as head coach, having to release players in such a great group was not an easy task. This was the most difficult moment of my career,” said Pauw.
“The players which have been released from the team have asked to remain and train with the rest of the team, and that for me showed great team spirit. This shows that there is something special about these players, and I hope we will be able to display that in Namibia,” Pauw concluded.
Pauw and her charges have been holding training camps for the past four months. Since qualifying for the AWC, they have played eight international friendly matches, winning seven and playing to a goalless draw against Zimbabwe. They beat neighbours Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.