Tiisetso Makhubela has promised to do her utmost to help her team win, should she get a chance to play when Banyana Banyana lock horns with Nigeria in their first game of the 2019 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana on Sunday.
“As kick-off approaches, my heart is racing very fast but I am looking forward to the challenge. Given a chance, I will do the best I can to help the team win, and my greatest wish is to play some part in this tournament,” said the 21-year-old.
“We can’t wait for our first match on Sunday (against Nigeria). Without a doubt, it is going to be tough, but I am confident we will do well because there is a lot of determination all-round in the squad. Qualifying for the World Cup would be my biggest achievement.”
Makhubela, who is a national Under-20 team graduate, only got to make her first senior national team appearance when Banyana lost 1-0 to the Black Queens in their final warm-up match ahead of the tournament last Sunday.
And the Pretoria-born defender says she was anxious when she was brought on to replace skipper Janine van Wyk during the Ghana friendly.
“When the coach told me to go and warm up I had butterflies in my stomach. And as I was getting ready to come on, I had to calm myself down and say ‘now is the time, I have to be ready’.
“In fact, even after playing in that match I am still a little scared ahead of the tournament … the first major tournament in my football career,” said Makhubela.
“I feel very happy to be here. It is a great honour to be sharing the dressing-room with some of the players I have always looked up to, players I only knew as opposition in the Sasol League, the likes of Janine van Wyk, Refiloe Jane, Nothando Vilakazi and Nompumelelo Nyandeni.”