Andisiwe Mgcoyi weary of Banyana Banyana’s World Cup readiness

  • By Kate Nokwe

  • 20th July 2023

Andisiwe Mgcoyi weary of Banyana Banyana’s World Cup readiness

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies FC striker Andisiwe Mgcoyi is not convinced Banyana Banyana are ready for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Apart from a 3-2 loss to Serbia in an international friendly in April, South Africa’s only world cup warm-up match was a 2-0 win over Costa Rica just five days before the official kick-off in Australia/New Zealand.

And Mgcoyi, who last played for Desiree Ellis in 2017, says much like Zambia, who have played friendlies against the Republic of Ireland (3-2 win), Switzerland (3-3) and Germany in the last two months, Banyana needed more international exposure before their first game against Sweden.

"Zambia is well prepared for this tournament. When you look at the couple of friendly games that they played, they beat Germany. Their results from their friendlies are quite impressive," Mgcoyi said.

The world cup squad was supposed to play Botswana before travelling Down Under, but the bonus debacle spilt over onto the pitch, forcing a makeshift team to play the international game. Mgcoyi says Botswana were not an adequate opposition ahead of such an important tournament.

"We (South Africa) were supposed to play against Botswana, the game didn't go according to plan but then we can't say we are preparing with Botswana. You'd rather take selected players from Hollywood [Hollywoodbets Super League] who can make a good squad and play Banyana.

So, when you prepare for the world cup you play international teams where you can see where the team needs to improve."

Despite a convincing win over Costa Rica ranked 18 places higher than South Africa, Mgcoyi believes the players needed more game time.

"It was not enough because you can train the whole year and not play a game then come back the following year and play one game, you will feel like you didn't do anything. Friendlies are very important for the physical improvement of the players; you get to run and do a lot of things. If you are training and playing one friendly, you can't say you are prepared.