11 September 2018 –Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has released Bloemfontein Celtic’s Melinda Kgadiete from her squad after she was found not to be fit to play in the upcoming 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship which gets underway on Wednesday (12 September).
Kgadiete was one of the 20 players called up to the South African Senior Women’s National Team, but now Tiisetso Makhubela of Mamelodi Sundowns has taken her place – she was initially selected as part of the stand-by players.
“It is unfortunate that we had to send her back home because we found that she was not in the correct physical state for a tournament of this magnitude. It is a good thing we were able to detect this very early before the start of competition so we could effect changes,” said Ellis.
“At the end of the day it is all about the team, and we are hopeful this decision will push players to stay in perfect physical condition to be able to represent their nation as the demands of international games are much higher.”
Also released from the camp are the other three standby players – Siyamthanda Skeyi (Thunderbirds FC), Zanele Nhlapo (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies) and Salome Kekana (TUT-PTA).
“As we said when we announced the squad for the COSAFA Cup, the standby players will leave camp when competition starts, and sadly that time has now arrived. The good thing is that they managed to keep fit and that is why it was not difficult for us to get a replacement for Kgadiete as Makhubela has been training with us here in Port Elizabeth,” added Ellis.
The sad news is that Makhubela is doubtful after she sustained a groin injury at training.
She will undergo a scan today (Tuesday, 11 September) to determine the extent of the injury.
According to the rules of the competition, she can be replaced if deemed necessary, and this can only happen before the first match of the tournament.
Banyana Banyana are in Group A, and will open their title defence against Madagascar tomorrow (Wednesday, 12 September) at the Wolfson Stadium.
Kick-off is at 15h30.
The South Africans will however be without the USA-based trio of Janine van Wyk, Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo for the clash, as they will arrive in Port Elizabeth on match day.
The three Houston Dash players were unable to join the camp at the start due to club commitments – they played their last league match this past weekend (Saturday, 8 September).
“We are looking forward to have them join us in camp, even though we are disappointed they will miss the opening match after a long flight from the USA. We will monitor them to see if they can feature in the second match of the tournament as their quality will play a key role in our aspirations to defend the title,” said Ellis.
South Africa next plays Botswana before rounding off their group stage fixtures against Malawi.
The tournament comes to an end on Saturday, 22 September.
UPDATED BANYANA BANYANA COSAFA CUP SQUAD
|1. Kaylin Swart||Menlo College||USA|
|2. Roxanne Barker||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|
|3. Andile Dlamini||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Gauteng|
|4. Lebogang Ramalepe||MaIndies FC||Polokwane|
|5. Nothando Vilakazi||Palace Super Falcons FC||Gauteng|
|6. Janine Van Wyk||Houston Dash||USA|
|7. Bambanani Mbane||Bloemfontein Celtic FC||Free State|
|8. Regina Mogolola||University of Pretoria||Gauteng|
|9. Kgaelebane Mohlakoana||Bloemfontein Celtic||Free State|
|10.KholosaBiyana||University of KZN||KwaZulu-Natal|
|11.Refiloe Jane||Canberra United||Australia|
|12.ThatoLetsoso||University of JHB||Gauteng|
|13.Nompumelelo Nyandeni||JVW FC||Gauteng|
|14. Khanya Xesi||UWC||Western Cape|
|15. Linda Motlhalo||Houston Dash||USA|
|16. Thembi Kgatlana||Houston Dash||USA|
|17. Jermaine Seoposenwe||JVW FC||Gauteng|
|18. Tiisetso Makhubela||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Gauteng|
|19. Chantelle Esau||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Gauteng|