Desiree Ellis’ side are looking to defend their title at the annual regional tournament on their home turf
South Africa women’s team captain Janine Van Wyk has admitted it will not be an easy one for her side in their bid to defend their title at this year’s Cosafa Women’s Cup.
Banyana Banyana clinched their fifth crown in the sixth edition of the competition, defeating Cameroon 2-1 in the final last year in Port Elizabeth.
For this year’s edition, Desiree Ellis’ side are aiming to extend their dominance and have been pooled alongside Malawi, Madagascar and Comoros in Group A.
Following a maiden Women’s World Cup outing in France, the former Houston Dash defender is delighted with the draw but warns her side against looking down on any team.
“For us, it is good, but a very tough draw. Looking at the other teams in the pool, we have played them a couple of times before,” Van Wyk told media.
“Malawi and Madagascar we played a year ago in the Cosafa Cup, and Comoros we played a couple of years ago .
“It’s easy to say, ‘we have beaten these teams already’, but in terms of growth and preparation, these teams have had that also. So it won’t be an easy one for us.
“Malawi are a very strong team and Madagascar are not bad themselves. Comoros could be a surprise team. We have to take every game as if it is a final for us.”
Banyana are without a win in 2019 in 11 matches, including three straight defeats in their debut outing at the global showpiece in France.
The team’s captain also assured her side would go all out in the quest for success, regardless of the opponents at Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We have pressure on us, being the defending champions in the tournament, but also coming from playing at the very highest level of the game at the World Cup,” she continued.
“So we need to produce good performances and results, and show why we were one of 24 teams in France.
“We cannot think this is going to be an easy tournament for us. It will be important for our confidence as well, knowing we have not won a game in 2019.
“This tournament can help us get our winning mentality and confidence back. It is two different levels, but for us, as a team we will have an edge over a couple of other teams that will be here.
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“But we have to go out as if we are going to play at the World Cup, with full force and try to get as good a result as we would want.
“It becomes dangerous if you relax, we need to make sure we are 100 percent ready for whichever match we play. We know all eyes will be on us.”