OLYMPIC DREAMS: Stephanie Malherbe

Banyana Banyana kick off Team South Africa’s Olympic challenge this Wednesday when they take on Sweden (6pm).

And 20-year-old midfielder Stephanie Malherbe can’t wait to realise her dream to play on the massive stage in their Group A clash.

The Californian-born Malherbe says: “I never really thought some day I would be at the Olympics.

“But to be honest, this has been a big dream of mine since I was very young but I never thought I would be able to make it a reality, so it’s very exciting.”

Steph, as she is know in the squad, has now played eight matches since making her debut for the South African Senior Women’s National Team in the international friendly match against Cameroon in Doula earlier this year (25 March 2016).

Having played against Holland, USA and New Zealand, Malherbe says their plan for the Olympics is clear.

She adds: “As a team we all have the collective goal of making the impact, we are trying to show people that South African football is on the rise. We have so much talent and it would be amazing to get people to recognise that talent and our abilities.”