South Africa female national team, Banyana Banyana’s USA-based star, Thembi Kgatlana has declared that all her squad need is more effort in training and build up their physical abilities to excel at this year’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
Banyana Banyana will tango Nigeria’s Super Falcons in their first match at AWCON 2018 on November 18 and, while she admits the holds would be tough to crack, the Houston Dash star says making it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup is South Africa’s target.
Foobtalllive.ng gathered further that Kgatlana acknowledged that Nigeria’s team rely heavily on the experience of their overseas-based players, which she is optimistic South Africa are also approximating.
Subsequently, Kgatlana expects her experience in the American Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) to rub off positively in her country’s 2018 AWCON campaign in Ghana and hope to upstage Nigeria.
South Africa are in Group B alongside Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya, ahead of which Kgtlatlana says she has overcome her club’s failure to reach the NWSL play-offs and eyeing a successful outing in Ghana.
Kgatlana was in the Banyana squad that lost 1-0 to Cote d’ Ivoire in the third place at Namibia 2014 and missed out on a place at the last World Cup, but believes Desiree Ellis’ side will succeed this time out.
She enthused: “We bring match fitness to the national team because we train every day and play competitive football week in and week out.
“This is the one area we are lacking here in South Africa. There are many players who are committed but training alone or once a week and training with a professional team is completely different.
“It has been a good experience playing in the US but it was not easy coming from the Sasol League. Everyone in the US is professional and most of the players play for national teams around the world.
“My personal development has been good under coach Vera Pauw at Houston Dash.
“You learn a lot of technical and tactical things and it is something that we bring to this team and hopefully we will help and Banyana Banyana qualify for the World Cup.
“What happened in 2014 was depressing because we were so close but we have learned from that experience.
“If you look at Nigerian players, about 80% of them play overseas because of the exposure they get by playing at the World Cup.
“Qualifying for the World Cup would be great thing to happen to South African football.”