Fran off to New Zealand


Hilton Smith is hoping to draw on crucial expertise that will benefit South Africa in the near future.

The South African official will join an exclusive group that has been handed the task of compiling the technical reports for the teenage competition which brings together the top 16 nations.

The New Zealand finals will run from October 28 to November 16.

“I am heading off to New Zealand on a Fifa task that I will also use to see how we can learn from the countries that have qualified.

“This is really an honour for me as I will get to see what other countries are doing right so that we can also follow in order to be able to qualify for type of tournament.

“This is the first-ever World Cup for women of this age group and to be able to be part of it means a lot.

“I have written technical reports before but it wasn’t for a tournament featuring girls who are Under-17. So this will open up my eyes to many things. This is important as we also have strong junior national teams that need to secure success in the future.

“I have been writing reports since 2003, at the Olympics and at Under-20 World Cup, but this will be different.” Hilton-Smith will however have to return early from New Zealand to join Banyana Banyana as they head off to Equatorial Guinea for the African Women Championships.

“I have to return on November 12 because I want to be with Banyana in Guinea,” she says.

The South African women’s Under-17 team lost to Cameroon in the qualifiers after getting a bye in the preliminary round when Botswana pulled out.

Ghana and Nigeria are the two countries representing Africa in New Zealand.