Banyana's Refiloe Jane says the squad is well prepared ahead of AWCON kick-off

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The Banyana Banyana squad is well prepared ahead of the first Awcon tournament since 2018 according to team vice-captain, Refiloe Jane.

"We’re preparing well for the games and the mood is great at the camp," Jane told KickOff.

The 2022 African Women's Cup of Nations (Awcon) competition will kick off this Sunday in Morocco and the Banyana squad has been hard at training since landing in North Africa last Wednesday.

Scroll through to see South Africa's all-time leading goalscorers in AFCON qualifying

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The Awcon returns for the first time since 2018 after the 2020 edition of the tournament was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. Jane says the team is excited to return to the continental stage.

"It feels great to be part of the biggest tournament in the continent again," the 2019 CAF Women’s player of the Year nominee said.

"Credit to all the federations involved prior to the tournament with all the qualifiers that took place in the build-up to this."

Under the new tournament format, four more teams have been added and the semi-finalists of the competition will gain automatic qualification to the next year’s New Zealand-Australia Women's World Cup – a goal Head Coach Desiree Ellis has already outlined as a top priority.

"We are looking forward to another exciting tournament with a changed format due to the increased teams," Jane adds.

READ: Ellis announces final Banyana squad for AWCON

Banyana occupies group C of the tournament alongside defending champions Nigeria and tournament debutants: Burundi and Botswana. The South Africans will open their Awcon campaign on Monday night against Nigeria.

The Super Falcons are looking to secure a fifth consecutive Total Women’s Afcon title while Banyana are still in search of a first winner’s medal in the competition, having left with silver on five occasions.

Group A: Morocco, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda
Group B: Cameroon, Zambia, Tunisia, Togo
Group C: Nigeria, South Africa, Burundi, Botswana