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Banyana Banyana skipper’s take on the Rio 2016 draw
- Updated: April 15, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
With the Olympic football draw having been conducted in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, the country’s ’s U23 men’s side and the senior women’s side can now start fine tuning their preparation ahead of the Games later this year.
The draw was done at the iconic Maracana Stadium and Owen da Gama’s men’s side are in Group A with hosts Brazil, Denmark and Iraq.
The national women’s side also take on Brazil, as well as Sweden and China.
Skipper Janine van Wyk took time off from a busy schedule to share her thoughts with Road to Rio 2016 from a busy schedule before rushing off to training.
‘Well we’ve definitely got three good teams in our group,’ she says. ‘A lot of people saying are saying we’re in the group of death but then again a lot of people would say that no matter which group we are in.’
‘We play Sweden again in our opening match and we have to go out there and show them how far we have come in our football since 2012 and get the best possible result against them… there’s no doubt that coach Vera [Pauw] will have us so well prepared.
‘Our second match is against China but I don’t really know much about them and have also never played against them or Brazil.
‘But China put out Japan to stop them coming to Olympics so they’ll be another hiccup for some of the other sides so we must prepare very well for them.
‘Then Brazil are also going to be very tough. As hosts they won’t make it easy for anyone. I’m really looking forward to this match although it won’t be easy – they were fourth in 2012. But we’ll have to prepare for all these teams and each day take it step for step against all our opponents.
‘We’ll have to concentrate on opponents as well as ourselves. But we’ll be prepared and fit and strong and all we need to do is look at ourselves and fight as hard as we can at all times.’