Paris 2024 Olympics: Kaylin Swart on facing rivals Nigeria and significant growth of African champions, South Africa


·      Always a great battle against Nigeria

·      I had to make a lot of changes and sacrifices to be the best

·      The unity and chemistry in the Banyana Banyana team is second to none

Banyana Banyana goalkeepers, Kaylin Swart is expected to play a key figure when the reigning African champions take on Nigeria in the third and final round of the Paris 2024 Olympics Qualifier on Friday, 05 and 09 April in a two-legged affair.

The Super Falcons are South Africa’s longstanding rivals and with a place at the Olympics at stake, the two-legged qualifier promises to be a highly tactical, but thrilling affair.

Speaking to CAFOnline ahead of the first leg, Swart who was coach Desiree Ellis’ first choice at the FIFA Women’s World Cup where the team historically made it into the round of 16 says the team is looking forward to facing Nigeria.

She also touches on the growth of the team and how it has contributed to her being a better goalkeeper.

Kaylin Swart

CAFOnline: Facing your arch-rivals, Nigeria in a crucial final round, what do you make of your chances?

Kaylin Swart: Playing against Nigeria is always a great battle, we are familiar with each other only because we have had battles for many years up until now and this one is no different. I have full confidence in my teammates, and I think if we just stick to our strengths as a team and play for each other, we will get the results we need.


What have you made of your personal progress as a Goalkeeper before and after the World Cup?

I have grown so much over the years and leading up to the World Cup in 2023, I had to make a lot of changes and sacrifices in order to perform at my best with the help of my coaches. Ultimately it came down to working on myself and my well-being so that has given me so much confidence and belief that I can be the best and I thrive to be the best every day.


There is healthy competition in the group of goalkeepers, what do you think has given you the edge in recent times?

Competition brings out the best in us and I’m so grateful for the Goalkeeping department that we have at the national team because we push each other to the limits, but I can’t pin it on one thing. Like I said previously, I’ve worked hard to be where I am and I think my confidence grew and I show up every day and gave maximum effort. At the end of the day it’s the coaches decision.


Should you qualify, you will be drawn in group C against Spain, Brazil and Japan – how would you fancy your chances against the world’s best?

There are massive opportunities for us to show and level up with the best, and I think to be the best we have to compete with the best. African football has evolved so much and knowing that Spain, who are world champions alongside Japan and Brazil could possibly be our opponents is a huge boost. All we need to do is focus on ourselves and prepare well to give us the best possible chance to get results.


SA has grown into one of the most respected teams on the continent, what can you attribute this to?

We as a national team have grown so much over the years, and every obstacle we faced helped us grow day by day. The main thing that led us to where we are now is that the unity and chemistry in this team is second to none, combined with the individual brilliance of our players and the overall growth of women’s football in our country.