12 January 2018 – Tributes continue to pour in for Amanda Dlamini after she announced her retirement from the South African Senior Women’s National Team on Tuesday, 9 January 2018.

Former head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Viera Pauw, said Dlamini was an inspiration to many, while current captain of the national team said it was an honour to serve with Dlamini.

Another former captain, who is now the interim head coach of Bantwana, Simphiwe Dludlu, added that Dlamini was a full of humility, while Director of Women’s Football at SAFA, Fran Hilton-Smith, said her departure was a huge loss to women’s football.

Dlamini, a former Banyana Banyana, made 105 apperances for the national team from 2007, and represented South Africa at two Olympic Games – 2012 London and 2016 Rio.

She is one six players to clock three figures in terms of caps for Banyana Banyana, alongside Portia Modise, Van Wyk, Noko Matlou, Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Nothando Vilakazi.

Here’s what they had to say about Dlamini:

Janine Van Wyk – Banyana Banyana captain:

“It’s been an absolute honour and privilege to play alongside Amanda for so many years. She has been and still is a true ambassador for women’s football in our Country. She will be missed. Her contribution on and off the field was immeasurable and we have all learnt a great deal from her.”

Vera Pauw – Former Banyana Banyana head coach:

“Amanda has been an inspiration to many football players – male and female – and from all sorts of backgrounds. Her football talent is exceptional. I have not seen many players who were able to make complicated football situations look so easy. But besides that, her personality stands out and I believe she will forever be like that. Amanda is friends with everybody, yet has an own opinion and leads her team mates in a very humble but determined way. Amanda has been a role model to every girl in South Africa, irrespective of colour. I hope she stays involved in football because the world of women’s football needs her input for the development of our beautiful game! I wish Amanda all the success on her next career path. I am sure our paths will cross soon again and then I will personally thank her for being who she is – a great football player, a fantastic role model and a friend for life!”

Fran Hilton-Smith – Director of Women’s Football: SAFA

“Her departure is a big loss for women’s football in South Africa. Amanda has been a true role model for all young girls pursuing a career in football. She was a captain of note and did an excellent job, on and off the field. It will be hard to fill her boots, and we can only wish her all the best in her future endeavors. We are certain she will add value in her chosen path.”

Simphiwe Dludlu – Former Banyana Banyana captain & currently acting head coach of Bantwana:

“Amanda has always strived to be the best at everything she did. Most importantly, she wanted and inspired greatness from those around her. Giving up was never part of her vocabulary and she always stayed calm, regardless of the circumstances. I enjoyed playing alongside her all those years. She deserves everything of the best in her journey.”

Refiloe Jane – Banyana Banyana vice-captain and former teammate:

“Thank you for being the inspiration that you are. From the leadership you’ve shown in Banyana Banyana during your days as a cappy and after that too, for teaching me to be a team player and a leader, and making sure to put the players before myself. You’ve surely left a mark and paved a way for the future players to follow. What’s left for us is to continue fighting for the betterment of women’s football like you continue to do. Thank you, and All the best with your future endeavors.”