Paris 2024: South Africa’s Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Swart upbeat ahead of clash with Nigeria


South Africa’s national women’s football team, Banyana Banyana, is gearing up for a monumental showdown against their long-standing rivals, Nigeria, in the Paris 2024 Olympics Qualifiers.

With the Olympic dream hanging in the balance, the two-legged qualifier promises to be an intense battle of skill and determination.

Kaylin Swart, a pivotal figure in the Banyana Banyana squad as one of the goalkeepers, is expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming clashes scheduled for 05 Friday and 09 April.

Swart, who earned her stripes as the first-choice goalkeeper during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, expressed her confidence in the team’s ability to face Nigeria.

“Playing against Nigeria is always a great battle,” Swart remarked in an interview with CAFOnline. “I have full confidence in my teammates, and I think if we just stick to our strengths as a team and play for each other, we will get the results we need.”

Reflecting on her personal growth as a goalkeeper, especially in the lead-up to and aftermath of the World Cup, Swart highlighted the importance of hard work, sacrifice, and self-improvement.

“Ultimately it came down to working on myself and my well-being,” she noted. “That has given me so much confidence and belief that I can be the best, and I thrive to be the best every day.”

Addressing the healthy competition within the goalkeeping department of the national team, Swart emphasized the role of hard work and self-confidence in maintaining her edge.

 “Competition brings out the best in us,” she explained. “I’ve worked hard to be where I am, and I think my confidence grew as I showed up every day and gave maximum effort.”

Looking ahead, should South Africa secure qualification, they will be drawn into Group C alongside Spain, Brazil, and Japan, posing a formidable challenge. However, Swart sees this as an opportunity for growth and showcasing the strength of African football.

“There are massive opportunities for us to show and level up with the best,” she said. “To be the best, we have to compete with the best. All we need to do is focus on ourselves and prepare well to give us the best possible chance to get results.”

Swart also attributed South Africa’s rise to prominence in women’s football to the unity, chemistry, and individual brilliance within the team, coupled with the overall growth of women’s football in the country.

“We as a national team have grown so much over the years,” she stated. “Every obstacle we faced helped us grow day by day.”

As the stage is set for a thrilling encounter between South Africa and Nigeria, fans eagerly anticipate witnessing Banyana Banyana’s resilience and determination in pursuit of Olympic qualification.


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