Cape Town - Banyana Banyana took time off their busy
schedule to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris,
The South African women national side are taking part in the
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, their maiden tournament.
The Desiree Ellis-coach side face China on Thursday, June 13
at Parc des Princes in Paris following their opening Group B defeat against
Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).
Head coach Desiree Ellis said the time away from training facilities
was a needed exercise for the team.
“We are in the middle of competition but at times you need
to give the players a break, so they let their hair down and recharge their
batteries, and what better way to do it than to visit this famous place where
most of them have only seen it on television,” said Ellis.
“The joy on their faces when we arrived there said a lot,
and you could see they were clearly enjoying themselves.
“But after that it’s back to the grind to prepare for a very
crucial game where we need a win at all costs, bearing in mind that we lost our
first match at the tournament.
“I am just hopeful the visit will rejuvenate them and will
inspire them to work even harder for the upcoming challenge.”
Banyana Banyana will be without the experienced left back,
Nothando Vilakazi, who was red carded against Spain.
“It’s still a toss-up as to who will come in Vivo’s place –
but I am confident that whoever takes that position will not disappoint,” Ellis
“Having seen videos of China, there may be some changes to
the team, which I believe will give us the desired results because we are all
aware that a loss against China will mean we are out of the tournament.
“With two training sessions left we will try out a few
combinations and whoever raises their hand will get the nod. But we already
have someone in mind that can jump in into the position.
“This is a must win for us and with a settled back four we
are positive that we could compete, but then again it is what it is, we have to
do to what we can to win as we this game as a final for us.”
South Africa’s last group stage match will be against
Germany in Montpellier on 17 June.
Image courtesy official SAFA website