Bantwana ‘veterans’ reunite for Fifa World Cup return

JOHANNESBURG – Banyana Banyana might be heading to their maiden Fifa Women’s World Cup in France in June but they’ll have two cronies who’ve been to a global showpiece before.

Jermaine Seoposenwe and Kaylin Swart were part of Bantwana’s squad that played in the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago.

That tournament triggers different memories for the duo. Swart conceded a whopping 17 goals in three matches – including 10 in one game in a 10-1 thumping by Germany. On the other hand, the two consolation goals they scored in the group stage were from Seoposenwe.

The pair reunited to lead the SA women’s national team to their first global showpiece with a second place finish in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, and Seoposenwe hopes to create new memories.

“Everyone experiences a tournament in their own capacity,” she said. “For me, I really relished the opportunity to play on that platform with my teammates. We’ve matured a lot and we are big contributors to the team now, and have a lot of responsibilities.

“It’s a kind of a shift in your paradigm compared to where you come from.”

Speaking about the friendlies against the Netherlands and Sweden last month, Seoposenwe said: “If you look at our performance, and based on that our league was on a break and we had just assembled, it’s amazing how the players took it upon themselves to keep fit and make sure we are on a level that we can compete with teams in the (world) top 10.”

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Kaylin Swart during the afternoon training session on Monday at Agia Napa Fields in Cyprus. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Those friendlies were part of Banyana’s preparations for the World Cup starting on June 7. Coach Desiree Ellis’s troops will continue to test their readiness for the tournament today (1pm SA time) as they open their Cyprus Cup against against Finland.

The Cyprus Cup has been a happy hunting ground for the South Africans as it reinforced them for the World Cup qualifiers. And Seoposenwe is hoping they rise to the occasion and get a higher finish that they did last year (sixth).

“We have a goal going to Cyprus and we feel like we can really do well,” she said. “We just need to work the way we have been, working for each other and holding each other accountable.”


The Star

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