Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria head coach):
I have a good mix of very experienced players coming on board, the foreign based and also really talented players from the domestic league. We have had few training sessions and the feedback is very good. I think we are getting better and better. The feeling in the squad is that is close now. We have been working for this game so long now. We are really happy about that.
South Africa have prepared well. They have played a lot of friendlies. At least six or seven. I saw the first four games so I follow the team. I have a good picture of the team. They are getting better and better. It is really a tough game but that’s a normal situation for the big guys. Everybody wants to beat the champions, everybody wants to beat Nigeria. It is going to be difficult but I have the confidence of getting a good result. I know my team, they are in a really good shape.
Rita Chikwelu (Nigeria captain):
The team has prepared very well at the moment and we hope can keep that going forward. Our training is getting better every session. With God on our side, I think we will do much better. Playing against South Africa is always difficult but in the end we always come out victorious. This one is also not going to be easy but God we know we have something to smile.
We are champions, we will still work hard to defend it. Even the young ones coming up want to keep the history going and that’s why we are always motivated to work hard.
Desiree Ellis (South Africa head coach):
Our preparations started at the beginning of the year. After the Cyprus cup, we played against Sweden and then qualified by beating Lesotho. We had a very good preparation at the COSAFA cup with Cameroon also being part. It spiced up the COSAFA. We then went to Chile so we really had very good preparations. But preparations don’t guarantee you success because you have to execute your plans and when the draw came out the first game of every tournament is always the most important.
It doesn’t come easier when you are facing Nigeria, eight time winners. Nonetheless it is still the first game of the tournament and getting a positive result in that game will set the tone. We have really prepared well.
Janine Van Wyk (South Africa captain):
It is a moment we have been waiting for all year long and we have been preparing well. We have been in camp for very long time in and out. We are ready for the tournament we have prepared so well for. Now we look forward to compete. We are going to take it as it comes. We need to first concentrate on what is ahead which is the first game and then take it from there. Obviously our target is get the three points.
Every game, there will be a target set but the ultimate aim is to make history by lifting the trophy and equally qualify to the World Cup for the first time.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football