Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has thanked the SA Football Association and sponsor Sasol for putting in place incentives that could drive her team to win the African Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon).
Banyana are pitted against Nigeria‚ Zambia and Kenya in Awcon‚ which starts on November 17 in Ghana.
The South Africans are yet to win a Women’s Nations Cup despite qualifying for 12 of the previous 13 editions.
For Van Wyk‚ the incentives will also be a big boost in their push to qualify for the first time for Fifa Women’s World Cup‚ which will be hosted by France in June 2019.
The top three finishers from eight teams in Ghana will qualify for the tournament in France.
If Banyana lift the Awcon in Ghana‚ each player will go home with R160‚000 but for merely appearing in this tournament the 21 players announced by coach Desiree Ellis on Wednesday are guaranteed to earn R40‚000.
“Obviously as a player the incentives motivate you but that’s one source of encouragement,” said Van Wyk‚ who is going to Ghana with 154 caps under her belt.
“It’s a big encouragement for our team to go out and give our best and get the results that we want,” she said.
Van Wyk said the experience within the current Banyana squad should be good enough to help them win the tournament in Ghana.
“I feel this is probably the most experienced team to go to Awcon‚” said the Boksburg-born central defender. “There’s over four to five players who have over 100 caps and there’s more than four players playing competitive football overseas.
“So that makes this team extremely experienced and I feel that with the preparation we’ve had throughout the whole year‚ we stand a really good chance in also qualifying for the World Cup by finishing among the top three in Ghana.”
Banyana will open their campaign in Ghana against defending champions Nigeria on November 18.