Banyana to go into camp for almost three months before the World Cup
Banyana Banyana could go into a full-time camp from as early as April 1 in order to best prepare for the Women’s World Cup in France in mid-year‚ officials said on Monday.
Without a regular league‚ the women’s national team players have little prospect of keeping up their match fitness in the months leading up to the tournament and in order to make sure they are in proper physical shape for the World Cup‚ they will go into camp for almost three months before the start of the tournament.
Banyana make the maiden World Cup appearance against Spain in Le Havre on June 8 and then meet China in Paris five days later and finish their Group B commitments against former world champions Germany.
Preparations already began in January with friendlies in Cape Town against the Netherlands and Sweden‚ who are also going to the World Cup.
Later this month‚ Desiree Ellis’ side are going to the Cyprus Cup‚ where they are in the same group with the Czech Republic‚ Finland and North Korea.
They play Finland on February 27‚ North Korea on March 1 and the Czech Republic on March 4.
They will have one more game on March 6‚ playing for one of 12 places‚ depending on how they do in their group.
Banyana have also been invited to the United States for a friendly against the pre-tournament favourites. It will be played in Santa Clara‚ which is near San Francisco‚ on May 12.
But there are massive gaps of potential inactivity that has led to the plans for a camp.
The SA Football Association (Safa) officials are now looking at the economics of having the squad in full time residence and where they will host this camp.
Priority for coach Ellis will be a regular diet of matches to keep the team fit.