Danny Jordaan explains Banyana Banyana’s slow World Cup preps

Danny Jordaan explains Banyana Banyana’s slow World Cup preps

SAFA president Danny Jordaan says the international calendar is a stumbling block in arranging more friendly matches for Banyana Banyana ahead of the Fifa World Cup in July.

Banyana are fresh from the Turkish Cup, where they beat Uzbekistan and drew with Slovenia as part of their preparations.

Coach Desiree Ellis will tomorrow trim down her 32-member preliminary squad for another fixture against Serbia next month, but Jordaan can’t guarantee more matches before the global showpiece.

"National teams are constrained by the international match calendar. You can only prepare matches for Banyana and Bafana if there is a date on the international calendar," explained Jordaan.

"Now, the next date is from 1-11 April and then the last date is in June, and therefore there are two opportunities until we go into the final camp and then go to Australia and New Zealand."

Meanwhile, Jordaan is impressed by what Ellis has done with the team in the lead-up to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. 

"I think what you've seen in Banyana is also the transformation of the team because many of the players have come to the end of their international careers, and the coach had to bring in the next generation, younger players to mix them with the more experienced ones," he added.

The SAFA boss is also hopeful USA-based Thembi Kgatlana will be fully fit before the tournament kicks off, after she sustained a serious injury during the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco last year, which has led to her absence.

"One thing that we are happy about is that Thembi Kgatlana is back in training, almost ready to start playing and she will be one of the stars, one of the key players – a difference-maker in Banyana, so we're keeping our fingers crossed for her," Jordaan concluded.