South Africa commence preparations for Cyprus Women's Cup campaign

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Samuel Ahmadu/Goal
Desiree Ellis' ladies are back in training ahead of next week's invitational tournament in Cyprus

South Africa women team have commenced preparations for their campaign in this year's Cyprus Women's Cup billed to kick-off on February 27 in Cyprus.

Banyana Banyana played friendlies with the Netherlands and Sweden in January and have now returned to camp on Wednesday for intensive build-up for the 12-nation women's football competition.

As they continue their build-up for France 2019, the 2018 African Women's Cup of Nations runners-up will hope to upstage Finland, Czech Republic and Korea DPR in Group A.

And Ellis, who kept faith in the all the players who featured in January friendlies, believes the competition will improve her side's readiness for a debut Women’s World Cup campaign.

“We are back in camp to continue with preparations for the World Cup, and as we approach the start of the Cyprus Cup," Ellis told Safa.net.

“This indicates we are edging closer and closer to our maiden World Cup tournament. We will be playing four top quality matches in Cyprus and at the end of the tournament, we will not only know how far we are in terms of preparations but also which players will be ready for the World Cup.

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“Only 23 players will go to the World Cup, so right now it is a serious battle for places in the final squad. The Cyprus Cup is an opportunity for players to further raise their hands.

“This does not mean that those not in the current squad don’t stand a chance – until the final squad is announced, everyone still has an opportunity to play in the World Cup, even though we can’t have too many changes.”

South Africa are scheduled to depart for Cyprus on Saturday - four days to their opener against Finland at the GSZ Stadium, Larnaca.

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