31 July 2018 – Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has announced a squad of 29 players for a training camp to prepare for the upcoming 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship, which will be hosted by South Africa starting at the end of August.
Banyana Banyana’s training camp takes place in Johannesburg from 5 – 10 August, and Ellis has kept the bulk of the squad that did duty against Lesotho recently in the AFCON qualifiers.
“Continuity is key, especially at this time of the year. You must also remember that we are heading to a very hectic period for Banyana Banyana. This camp will also help them understand what it is we want from them and also understand their roles,” said Ellis.
“We have brought in 5 new players – Tiisetso Makhubela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Salome Kekana (TUT-PTA), Nomvuyo Bhengu (Durban Ladies) Amanda Mthandi (University of Johannesburg) and Siyamthanda Skeyi (Thunderbirds FC) from the various roadshows we have been conducting around the country. We have also recalled Kholosa Biyana and Sduduzo Dlamini, who were both injured, just to have a look at them again,” said Ellis.
The COSAFA Women’s Championship will be used to get the squad into shape for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, which will take place in Ghana late in November and early in December.
“It’s a big competition for us, we are the current champions and we are playing at home, so we want to put up a good show. Because it is not a FIFA date – (The FIFA dates are 27 August – 4 September and do not cover the final stages of the tournament – COSAFA is from 26 August – 6 September) – overseas-based players will not be available, but this again gives us an opportunity to look at other players and broaden the pool, because consistently players are raising their hands, and we want to give them a chance,” added Ellis.
Before the start of the next camp, Ellis will trim down the squad to the required 21 for the tournament, which she says had added pressure, as they are the defending champions.
“In the national team there is always pressure, whether you play in a competition or play a once-off match, the players want to do well, we all want to do well. Playing away is difficult but I think playing at home is even more difficult because of the pressure,” said Ellis.
“What happened last year in Zimbabwe shows these players have character and mental strength – we just have to build on that because somewhere down the line these are going to be needed. So it is all part of the process and we really want to do well in the tournament.
Banyana Banyana Squad for training camp
|1. ANDILE DLAMINI||Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies||Johannesburg|
|2. JESSICA WILLIAMS||Tuks||Johannesburg|
|3. ROXANNE BARKER||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|
|4. YOLULA TSAWE||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|5. LEBOGANG RAMALEPE||Maindis FC||Polokwane|
|6. NOTHANDO VILAKAZI||Palace Super Falcons FC||Johannesburg|
|7. ZANELE NHLAPHO||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Johannesburg|
|8. BAMBANANI MBANE||Bloemfontein Celtic||Bloemfontein|
|9. REGINA MOGOLOLA||TUKS||Pretoria|
|10. TIISETSO MAKHUBELA||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Johannesburg|
|11. THATO LETSOSO||University of Johannesburg||Johannesburg|
|12. SALOME KEKANA||TUT-PTA|
|13. KGAELEBANE MOHLAKOANA||Bloemfontein Celtic||Bloemfontein|
|14. RACHEL SEBATI||TUT-PTA||Pretoria|
|15. MAMELLO MAKHABANE||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|16. REFILOE JANE||TUT-PTA||Pretoria|
|17. KHOLOSA BIYANA||UKZA||Cape Town|
|18. NOMPUMELELO NYANDENI||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|19. HILDAH MAGAIA||TUT-PTA||Johannesburg|
|20. GABRIELA SALGADO||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|21. SIYAMTANDA SKEYI||Thunderbirds FC|
|22. NOMVUYO BHENGU||Durban Ladies|
|23. JERMAINE SEOPOSENWE||JVW FC||Cape Town|
|24. MELINDA KGADIETE||Bloemfontein Celtic||Bloemfontein|
|25. CHANTELLE ESAU||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Johannesburg|
|26. KHANYA XESI||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|
|27. NOKO MATLOU||Ma-Indies||Polokwane|
|28. AMANDA MTHANDI||University of Johannesburg|
|29. SDUDUZO DLAMINI||Sunflower FC|