Archive | March, 2012

To jinx or not to

30 Mar

The South African sporting world will soon take center stage as Team South Africa will make their way to the 2012 London Olympics. What an event it will be, I personally can’t wait.

 

Well, not that the rest of our sporting world is taking a back seat. The Proteas are currently in New Zealand, the PSL title race is still going on and the Cape Epic is also coming this weekend, all our sports loving South Africans are ‘fed’ to the fullest at the moment.

 

Just a few days ago the sports minister, Fikile Mbalula held a congratulately gala dinner for Banyana Banyana and the SA women’s hockey team for qualifying for the Olympics.

I couldn’t help but think of the ‘green and gold’parade that caused a stand still in Sandton ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, held for Bafana Bafana. 

This, I believe jinxed us at the first ever Africa hosted World Cup that had us eliminated in the group stages of the tournament.

A world record. The first host country to leave the competition at that stage.

 

I asked myself, “Was the ministry forward for having this dinner? Couldn’t we have waited till they came back from the competition?” But hey, who am I to ask? I know it is Banyana’s first and the women’s hockey team’s fourth and they deserve a pat in the back but maybe we ‘counted our chickens before they hatched’.

Either way, I hope they do well. Actually, I trust #TeamSouthAfrica will do well. 

 

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Banyana have good foundation: Ellis

30 Mar

When thinking of Banyana Banyanaa one can’t help think of the first team.

 

The class of 93 first match against Swaziland brought hope to many female footballers who saw the future in this sport when they beat the neighbours 13-0.

 

Former Banyana captain Desiree Ellis believes the teams before have built a strong foundation for the current crop. 

 

In the 10 years Ellis was with Banyana she only got 10 caps. 

Said Ellis: “When the team was formed we were not as lucky as the present team to have international matches, friendlies or competitions not even camps. We always hoped that the hard work put in by all the previous Banyana players would pay off someday. We knew that better things might come for the team.”

 

She said the support that came from sponsors, Safa and fans has helped put the team where it is today.

 

Said the former skipper: “The money and the weight that has been put in the team has been a big boost.

The fact that Banyana is not only playing against Southern African teams and doing well, they are also playing teams from other continents as well. Banyana has become a strong team.”

 

Ellis is proud on how the team did in the recent Cyprus Cup, event though they only went as far as the knockout stages.

 

She said: “With the morale high in the team, hopefully the team will go further than the group stages at the Olympics. Though they will be up against strong teams, the only stumbling block they face, is themselves.”

 

Present Banyana captain, Amanda Dlamini also belives that they are well on their way to doing Africa proud at their first Olympics.

Said Dlamini: “Though have have to still work on some aspects of our game, we are doing doing well. The spirits are high, our defense is good and we are able to create scoring chances, we just need to work on finishing touches. Coaches (Joseph) Mkhonza and Mkhulu (Ephriam Mashaba) have been doing great to get us in shape.”

 

Banyana’s recent win over Africa’s number two ranked Ghana on 5-4 penalties after a 1-1 draw at Dobsonville stadium proves that the team is on their way climbing up world football and making a mark in Africa.

 

PS: This article has also been published in the March issue of Sports Focus

Wanted: more football writers?

29 Mar

Wanted: more football writers?.