Mulaudzi confident Banyana can emerge from the group stages of the Fifa Women’s World Cup

27 February 2019 - 12:33 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis (L) in a discussion with her Australia-based striker Rhoda Mulaudzi (R) during a training session at Agia Napa Fields in Cyprus on February 25 2019.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis (L) in a discussion with her Australia-based striker Rhoda Mulaudzi (R) during a training session at Agia Napa Fields in Cyprus on February 25 2019.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Canberra United star striker Rhoda Mulaudzi says Banyana Banyana have enough talent in their ranks to emerge from the group stages of this year's Fifa Women’s World Cup.

The global tournament kicks-off in just under 100 days in France and Mulaudzi said they have to prepare well if they are to qualify from a group that includes former champions Germany‚ China PR and Spain.

“Yes‚ it is possible for us to get out of the group at the World Cup but a lot is going to depend on our attitude and how much we want it‚” she said as they prepared to take on Finland in the opening match of the Cyprus Cup on Wednesday where they also have Czech Republic and Korea DPR in the group.

“It is time for us to focus and give our all in a major tournament because it is no longer about developing and learning.

"The developing part is not gone and it is time to deliver and make sure that we go to the World Cup and not just to participate but to give our very best‚” she said.

“If I can make an example‚ when we left to play in Australia‚ people were saying we will see how they are going to deliver in a foreign country.

"But when we got there our minds were on delivering because we knew that failure was not an excuse.

"When these clubs signed us they did so believing in our abilities as players and went there knowing that we must do our best.”

In the Australian Women’s League‚ Mulaudzi regularly competes with some of the best players in the world and she believes the experience of the overseas-based players will come in handy for Banyana.

“At the end of the day we are all human beings and we will be playing on the same conditions.

"Even if we are playing a team like the US‚ it will be eleven against eleven and the good thing is that some of our players would have played against some of their star players in various leagues around the world.

“For example I play against Samantha Kerr of Perth Glory and Scotland captain Rachel Corsie is my team-mate.

"Most of the players in Banyana Banyana can compete and match them because we have quality players in the team.”

Mulaudzi was controversially omitted from the Banyana team that finished second at the Africa Women Cup of Nations in December‚ but she is not bitter about that.

“What happened is in the past and maybe it was not the right time for me to be with the national team‚" she said.

"I am just happy that I have been given another opportunity to represent my country.

"It is good to be back and I am looking forward to making a contribution because we have the Cyprus Cup now and the World Cup later in the year.”

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