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Mkhonza’s Games plans
- Updated: October 16, 2011
Head coach of the senior women’s national team, Joseph Mkhonza, has called up 38 players for camp in an aim to conduct┬á fitness tests and work on general training techniques. This is part of the plans to prepare the team for next year’s London Olympic Games.
Since the formation of Banyana Banyana in 1993, this is the first time they qualified for the Olympic Games. This is a great achievement for women’s football in general, and a proud moment for the South African Football Association (SAFA).
During this camp, the players will go for scientific testing and training at the High Performance Centre based at the University of Potchefstroom from 19-23 October. The team will be separated into two squads which will enable them to play a practice match on Saturday 22 October in Sasolburg.
Mkhonza says that early preparations augur well for international competition.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£Since this will be the first time Banyana Banyana participates in the Olympic Games, I want to ensure that the team’s fitness levels are up to where they should be when we get to London because it will be a competitive tournament for the girls next year. I want to ensure that we play to our best potential in London without worrying about the players fitness levels.
“I have seen some of the nations that have been taking part in international competitions, the first thing you notice is that they are extremely fit and we need to work towards that,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
Most of┬á the players called up for this camp took part in the final Olympic qualifiers, while some are from the squad that was at the All Africa Games in August. Mkhonza has also called up players he identified during the Sasol National Championships who have never been given an opportunity to participate in national team activity.
ÔÇ£It is important to get a good mix of players and build a strong squad leading up to the tournament. I have players coming from last season’s Sasol League National Championship, as well as some players coming from the international clubs who would like to represent South Africa in the Olympics. I believe this is the best time to give them a chance,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
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