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COSAFA Women's U20 Cup

Jessica Wade is destined for great things - Bantwana coach Simphiwe Dludlu

12:49 GMT+3 05/10/2019
Jessica Wade - South Africa
The South African coach has backed her U17 women's side captain to enjoy a flourishing career after her Cosafa Cup success

The South Africa U17 female team's coach Simphiwe Dludlu believes Jessica Wade is destined for great things in the colours of the country.

Bantwana finished as runners-up at the maiden Cosafa U17 Cup in Mauritius, securing four wins in five matches before losing 2-1 to winners Uganda in the final.

Wade scored five goals in five matches to clinch the Player of the Tournament award, and the former Banyana Banyana star lauded her leadership.

“I don’t like singling out players because the entire team worked hard, even those who were on the bench," Dludlu told Safa.net .

"But I must say that Jessica is a hard worker, she hates losing and plays with a lot of passion. I have been watching her progress over the years and she is destined for great things.

"I am so proud of her because as a captain, she led from the front and I am not surprised she managed to score goals and walk away with the top award – Player of the Tournament.

“She was also in the U20 squad that played the Cosafa Cup and you can see that she is gaining a lot of experience with all these games.

"Young as she is, I will not be surprised if she is called up into the Banyana Banyana squad.

"I always say we should afford the kids an opportunity to play and they will grow from that – not only that but also they forge more than just friendships.”

After South Africa's botched quest to claim the title, Wade and Bantwana will shift focus on helping the country qualify for the next year's U17 Women's World Cup in India.