29 September 2022 – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has named a strong squad to face FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia in a friendly international in London on October 8.
Ellis said she wanted to give other players an opportunity to show what they can do when she selected the team. She said the door is not closed to any player and those who did not make this squad can still work their way back into contention in the months before the World Cup.
“I said to them [the players] in the beginning the fact that you went to WAFCON does not mean you are going to the World Cup,” she said.
“The World Cup is a different game and everybody has got to raise their hand. There are a lot of players that have shown form and we need to take a look at them as well to give them an opportunity to test themsleves at the highest level.”
The Banyana Banyana coach is using the match as part of her preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year
The SASOL-sponsored side recently played friendly internationals against Brazil in Johannesburg and in Durban.
Nozipho Mbatha, SASOL Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship, said they remain in support of Ellis’ charges
“As SASOL, we remain resolute in our unwavering support to the girls as they continue to Live The Impossible post the successful WAFCON 2022,” she said.
“We would like to congratulate all the selected squad ladies who will be representing South Africa as part of the squad to face 2023 FIFA women’s World Cup co- hosts in an International friendly in London. We support and welcome, coach Desiree’s strategy to pit Banyana Banyana against the world’s best as a litmus test of the challenges ahead in her quest to prepare the best possible team to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“At SASOL we continue to enable and demonstrate our support to the develop of women’s football in South Africa. Our resounding proof points are anchored in our development from the SASOL League to our internationally starlets such as such as Noloxo Cesane and Refilwe Jane who were scouted to play for French side, Stade Reims and Italian, U.S Sassuolo Calcio Femminile, in Italy respectively. Those are doors that we would like to open for our football girls.
“To coach Des and the technical team, your dedication and arduous work has inspired the nations and demonstrated that teamwork and commitment makes dreams come true. As SASOL, we wish you and the team all the best of luck against the Aussie Matildas.”
Banyana Banyana 23-woman squad to face Australia