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Banyana all set to go in Cyprus

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Banyana Banyana have been drawn in Group C alongside Hungary, Slovakia as well as Korea DPR

Kaylin Swart. Picture: BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana wasted no time in fine-tuning their Cyprus Women’s Cup preparations as they practically stepped off the aeroplane and on to the training field on the Eastern Mediterranean island late Saturday afternoon.

The Sasol-sponsored South African squad will be participating in the annual 12-team tournament which has attracted participants from around the world but mainly Europe.

Newly-appointed Banyana coach Desiree Ellis worked out with a squad of 19 players instead of the 21 that were called up.

Midfielder Kholosa Biyana from the University of KZN has withdrawn due to an injury, and Zanele Nhlapho has taken her place.

Goalkeeper Kaylin Swart (pictured) is flying in from the United States, and like Nhlapho was expected to arrive later yesterday.

Also joining the team in Cyprus will be Under- 20 men’s national team coach Thabo Senong, who was in Holland for a coaching course. He and Under-17 men’s national team coach Molefi Ntseki will work as technical advisers to Ellis during the Cyprus Cup.

Banyana Banyana have been drawn in Group C alongside Hungary, Slovakia as well as Korea DPR.

They are the only side from the African continent and will be making their sixth appearance at the tournament that runs from today till March 7.

Banyana Banyana will face Slovakia in their opening match on Wednesday.

Participating teams

Group A: Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Wales

Group B: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Spain

Group C: Hungary, Slovakia, South Africa, Korea DPR

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