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South Africa's Bongeka Gamede has no regrets about putting exams on hold for Women's World Cup

22:56 GMT+3 30/05/2019
Bongeka Gamede - Banyana Banyana
The defender decided to put her studies aside to realise her football dreams with the national team

Bongeka Gamede is happy to have received an opportunity to represent South Africa at the 2019 Women's World Cup despite having to put her studies on hold.

Gamede surprisingly made Desiree Ellis's final 23-woman squad for the tournament in France even though she hasn't been capped at senior level.

She has previously represented South Africa at the U17 and U20 levels on numerous occasions.

The University of Western Cape defender is a first-year Tourism management student and was scheduled to sit for her mid-year exams, which ends on June 3.

But the 20-year-old is now focused on featuring in Banyana Banyana's maiden appearance on the global stage in France.

“I am very happy to have been selected and this means that our dreams as young players are becoming a reality, slowly but surely the selection shows that the Lord works in mysterious ways," Gamede told Safa.net

"I am ecstatic to be here. It was a dream of mine that one day I would see my name on the list of players going to the World Cup, but it came sooner than expected.

“As a student, I had to be sitting for my mid-year exams and finish on 3 June 2019 – but I have had to sacrifice that to be here (France). I will write when I return from the tournament. 

"But the most important thing is that the Banyana Banyana programme has been drafted such that there is still a lot of time to study during the camp and it does not really hinder my progress.

“I can tell you now that whatever you want in life you have to work for it – in the case of football you have to sacrifice and make time for both football and your studies. It’s up to an individual to get the balance correct.”

In France, Gamede will be hoping to make her senior debut in Banyana's friendly against Norway on June 2 in Amiens.
 
South Africa will launch their first ever Women's World Cup campaign against Spain on June 8 in Le Havre.