Former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis believes that the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations will determine how bad or good Bafana Bafana are leading to the 2010 World Cup finals.
Ellis is in Durban with other soccer ambassadors, including former local football greats such as Doctor Khumalo and Phil Masinga, as part of a week-long programme leading to the Fifa Preliminary Draw on Sunday.
They will be conducting a series of coaching clinics in townships around Durban.
Ellis said the fact that South Africa will be hosting the World Cup, means that they have to reach the semifinals at least.
"The previous hosts have set a trend of going beyond the group stages and we have to follow up. We need to be in the semis and I think we will not disappoint. It [the Afcon] will give us, as a country an indication of the progress we have made," she said.
She said with the talent that the country possesses, it should not be an impossible task.
"If you look at the way the team is playing, it shows that there's huge progress. Players are now playing more comfortably than before and you can see determination. I think it's only a matter of time before we start getting results.
"It's not going to be easy, but we stand a very good chance to upset our detractors," she said.
Ellis feels that senior local players still have an important role to play in the national team.
"We need to change our mindset of looking down at players over 30," she said.