Banyana hungry for success: Nyandeni
11 July 2012
The recipe for the ever-improving performances of South Africa's national women's football team, Banyana Banyana, is a hunger for success that wasn't present to the same extent four years ago, says Russia-based midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni.
Nyanadeni, who these days wears the colours of FC Rossiyank in the Russian women's league, was speaking at the team's pre-Olympic training camp in Hennef, Germany on Tuesday.
She expressed her excitement about being a part of Banyana Banyana's first appearance at the Olympic Games later this month in London.
"I have been a part of the Banyana Banyana set-up since 2002, and there has been a new vibe in the squad and in the Sasol League over the past four years, and Safa [the South African Football Association] and Sasol need to be commended for the efforts being made to take women's football in South Africa to a new level," she said.
'Feel like champions'
"Safa and Sasol have made us feel like champions since the partnership began four years ago," she explained, "and so many new players have come to the fore thanks to the platforms put in place."
Nyandeni, who at the age of 24 has 93 Banyana Banyana caps to her name and has scored 27 goals, has a passion for coaching and helping the next era of rising stars to reach their potential.
"I would like to see more women becoming involved in football in South Africa, in particular as coaches. In Russia, many of the clubs in the women's league are coached by women, but in South Africa it's different," she said.
"When I retire from playing football, I would like to be involved as a coach or a referee and I encourage women in this country, who have a passion for football, to get involved with 'the Beautiful Game', beyond just being football players."
Nyandeni described each Banyana Banyana call up as being a special moment for her, saying: "I am always pleased to be called up to represent the nation.
Looking ahead to the forthcoming Olympic Games, she added: "The vibe in the camp is great as we want to seize the moment and do our country proud at the Olympics.
"Yes, we are going into unknown terrain, a level of play that we have never experienced before, but I am sure that the nerves will settle quickly once the action kicks off."
Banyana Banyana play against German Women's Premier League side Bayer 04 Leverkusen in a practice match on Thursday, 12 July.
They also face Great Britain in an international friendly in Birmingham on Sunday, 15 July, before returning home.
Banyana are in the toughest of the three four-team groups at the Olympics. It includes World Cup champions Japan, ranked third in the world, world number four Sweden, and world number seven Canada.
South Africa and Cameroon are the two African representatives in the 12-team competition.
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