Banyana teens aim high at Cyprus Cup

6 March 2013

Just two years ago, the names of exciting talents Jermaine Seoposenwe and Robyn Moodaly were relatively unknown in South African women's football. However, such has been the rise to stardom of the two girls that it is proving difficult to name a Banyana Banyana squad without them on the list nowadays.

When they shone at the Under-17 Women's World Cup held in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 under the guidance of Solly Luvhengo and current Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza, who was then assistant coach, it was clear that the two were destined for bigger things.

Their stay with the Basetsana, the national under-20 team, was short-lived. Owing to their outstanding performances in the juniors setup, they soon graduated to the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana side.

'Learned a lot'

"I learned a lot and quite quickly from my time I was under coach Solly (Luvhengo) and I am putting all those elements together here with Banyana Banyana," Seoposenwe said. "Together with the lessons we were taught off the field, I suppose that is why I have not struggled to adapt from the juniors to Banyana set up."

Regarded as one of the top players in the Banyana Banyana team currently in Cyprus, Seoposenwe who turns 20 this year, plies her trade for the Sasol League side University of Western Cape Ladies where she is studying for a B.Com degree.

She remains humble about her outstanding dribbling and scoring abilities. "I don't believe I am a star. I just play my normal game and work hard for the sake of the team's success," she said.

First tournament

Speedy winger Robyn Moodaly, who formed a deadly combination with Seopesenwe in their days with the junior national teams, has 13 caps for Banyana Banyana and will be playing her first tournament with the team in this year's Cyprus Cup tournament, having been promoted from the juniors in 2011.

"It is an honour and I am excited to be here with the team. The graduation, though, comes with lots of pressure, but I am positive and hoping to get a chance to play, even if it is for a few minutes so that I can show my worth," she said.

Moodaly came on as a substitute in the practice match against New Zealand on Saturday in Larnaca, which ended in a 2-2 draw, and showed some flashes of brilliance playing on the left wing, combining well with midfielders Refiloe Jane and Amanda Dlamini.

'Work hard for the team'

"I have to put my individual ambitions aside and work hard for the team, and if we can build on from the good practice outing against New Zealand last Saturday, I think I will have a good tournament here in Cyprus," she reckoned.

"If we are able to create and score goals and close down teams, I believe we can start well with a victory over South Korea, whom we have studied over the past few days."

After the Cyprus tournament, Moodaly will pack her bags for the United States where she will study at AIB College in Iowa and play football for the same school.

Exciting opportunity

"It is really exciting to get such an opportunity to move abroad and showcase my talent. I would like to see how things are done internationally while still working hard to remain within the radar of the Banyana selectors," she said.

Banyana open their Cyprus Cup encounter with a match against South Korea on Wednesday at 14:30 (SA time).

The side is aiming to do better than the 10th spot they managed in the same tournament last year. They will also face Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in pool play.

SAinfo reporter

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