Cosafa U17 Women's Cup: Bantwana must start strongly against Seychelles – Dludlu

The South African coach urges her side to earn a convincing win when they face the Seychelloise in their opener on Saturday

South Africa U17 women coach Simphiwe Dludlu has asked her side to go for a convincing win against Seychelles on Saturday.

Dludlu led her 20-player charges safely to Port St Louis on Thursday where they are drawn in Group B along with Seychelles, Botswana and Madagascar in the Cosafa U17 Women's Cup in Mauritius.

Following their final training session at the MFA Technical Centre on Friday, the coach believes the team will blend well with time and excel at the maiden women's youth championship.

“I am quite impressed by how they have shaped up over the period since we started camp," Dludlu told 

"All our preparations were done in South Africa to get this side ready and understanding how we want to play as a team – as a coach you can never have enough time to prepare a team – but the amount of time we got we managed to put together a team and be able to prepare for the competition.

“We played two practice matches before our arrival in Mauritius and what I saw there really gave me the confidence that we will do well in this inaugural tournament. 

"Yes, of course as a coach you can never be one hundred percent satisfied, but you have to trust in the players and the process because that is very important as it could be the difference between winning and losing. We are in a very strong group – I have never seen Seychelles or Madagascar play but I now in the Cosafa region we are improving and becoming better. 

"Botswana is doing well with their Federation, their senior team knocked out our senior team in the Olympic qualifiers so that tells you development wise they are doing well and catching up with the rest of the continent, which means it is going to be a difficult job in the three matches ahead for us. I don’t think any team here is a walkover but all of them want to win the Championship.

“Key for us will be to start well because a positive result will give direction as to where the team is going –we don’t want to find ourselves scrambling for points in the last match of the group stages, that can put a lot of pressure in this young players and we need to protect them by doing well at the outset.”

Dludlu has announced that midfielder Jessica Wade will captain the team at the tournament and the team to play against Seychelloise at St. François Xavier has just been released.