Bantwana, the South African U17 Women’s National Team yesterday commenced with their preparations for the World Cup, to be played later on this year in Uruguay.
This is Phase Two of their 'Road to Uruguay'.
Phase One was qualification for the tournament. And this has been achieved.
Phase Two is the preparation for the competition.
And the third and last Phase is participating in the tournament.
Bantwana qualified for the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup that will take place in Uruguay from 13 November to 1 December, recently, following wins over Botswana and Morocco.
This was Bantwana's second ever entrance into the FIFA World Cup. The last time was in 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago, under head coach Solly Luvhengo.
Bantwana was last in action in February when they defeated Morocco in the second leg played in Sale, Morocco.
Head coach Simphiwe Dludlu has called up 24 players for the first preparation camp that kicked off on Sunday, 22 April in Johannesburg.
The former Banyana Banyana captain has kept the bulk of the squad that did duty in the qualifiers but has also called up new faces like Surprise Mphigalale (striker – HPC), Nkamogeleng Tshoke (midfielder – SAFA Johannesburg), Elzandre Maart (defender – Randburg FC), Jamie-Leigh Plaatjies (defender – Tuks) and Siphesihle Dlamini (goalkeeper – SAFA Johannesburg).
Bantwana's Road to Uruguay includes: having not lost a game in the qualifiers; received a bye in the preliminary round; faced neighbours Botswana in the first round in December 2017, winning 5-2 in the first leg, before wrapping it up two weeks later with a 6-4 victory (11-6 on aggregate); early this year, hosted and defeated Morocco 5-1 at the Dobsonville Stadium, Soweto, setting one foot in Uruguay; passage to the greatest football spectacle was confirmed when they beat Morocco 1-0 away; scored 17 goals in four matches, conceded 7.
Only three countries will represent the African continent in Uruguay.
The other two nations are Ghana and Cameroon.
The 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup draw will be conducted on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at the FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.