Simphiwe Dludlu - Experience will help Banyana hold their own against Nigeria

Simphiwe Dludlu - Experience will help Banyana hold their own against Nigeria

Under-17 women’s national team coach Simphiwe Dludlu believes experience will help Banyana Banyana to hold their own against Nigeria.

Banyana will have to overturn their 1 - 0 deficit to Super Falcons, when they host them tonight at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane - to seal a place at the 2024 Olympic Games.

Dludlu says Banyana have won against Nigeria in crucial cup competitions in the past, in the 2021 Women’s Africa Cup of nations [WAfcon] and in the Aisha Buhari cup and therefore can maximise on that experience to bounce back.

"This is a team that always makes it difficult for us to just get favourable results but I think we've shown in the past that we can take them on. We've played with them in the AFCON in 2021, we've played with them in 2018. We played in the Aisha Buhari Cup, and we've played them in the AFCON in 2022. This is a team of Banyana that is well established, we can hold our own and coming back home we believe in you,” Dludlu said.

“We know that you're gonna give your best as you always do and we just want to wish all of you the best, put your best foot forward like you always do and we'll be there behind supporting and just rooting for you."

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The 36-year-old mentor told SABC Sport that it is the responsibility of the clubs in the Hollywoodbets Super League to scout and groom players to make coach Desiree Ellis’ job much easier at national level.

"The ones that have been showing in the senior national team, they've been consistently going into the national team and keeping their place there. So, though more can still be done, we can improve on how we scout players, groom players and make sure they're ready for the national team because Coach Des doesn't have time to groom players at that level. She needs ready players to go and compete at that level," Dludlu explained.

Dludlu says the Hollywoodbets Super league is much more improved and is headed in

the right direction - with different teams fighting for the top spot, and this shows growth

in the local women’s game.

"So, the league is still a marathon but it's good to see different teams competing especially as we've kicked off. It's not only JVW, and UWC that are fighting at the top but UJ is there, Copper Belts is up there as well, and TUT is also coming up. So, it's really great to see such a great competition at the top."