Banyana take on Tanzania

BANYANA Banyana are scheduled to play a practice match against Tanzania in preparation for the 7th African Women's Championships, which the country hosts in October.

The East African team is one of the seven that have qualified for the continental event.

Equatorial Guinea are the reigning champions.

It is crucial for South Africa - who came second in the last edition of the biennial tournament - to claim either first or second place, as the feat will guarantee them a place in the 2011 World Cup in Germany.

The South African technical team is hoping that Augustine Makalakalane will put their territorial advantage to good use this time.

One way of finding out if they are up to this task - after their brilliant showing in 2008 when they came second - is by dominating the Twiga Stars, as Tanzania are lovingly called.

Hilton-Smith said: "Tanzania are one of the teams that we have played against quite often and they are a good side.

"The last time they came here, they caused quite a stir when their federation sent them by bus and they ended up travelling here for five days.

"It was quite a scandal."

By the end of the camp, Makalakalane is expected to have finalised a pool of 30 locally based players.

The coach will later assemble players based overseas, including captain Kylie-Anne Louw, as preparations gain momentum.

While the women's game on the continent has been dominated by the Super Falcons of Nigeria, who have won all the previous African Women's Championships except the one held last year, the South African team could prove an inspiration to other nations.

For instance, the Algerian national women's team made history by qualifying for the competition after beating Tunisia 2-1 earlier this year.