Boys set to sharpen up Banyana

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Banyana Banyana coach August Makalakalane says he likes to adopt unorthodox methods when preparing for major tournaments.

After announcing the latest batch of girls who will most likely make up the team that faces Zimbabwe in an Olympic Games qualifying game early next month, Makalakalane said as part of his preparations, one of Banyana's practice matches will be against the School of Excellence.

"Among other things, the boys improve our physical and mental abilities and because the boys often dominate possession, the girls learn how to fight for possession.

"You never really know who you are playing against," Makalakalane quipped, in reference to two boys allegedly masquerading as girls in the Equatorial Guinea national team.

Banyana will be in action against Namibia in an international friendly next week, and this time the team is made up of Under-20 players, with the likes of Veronica Phewa, Mpumi Nyandeni and Rose Jijane making way for the youngsters.

"Four of them have been in development at the High Performance Centre and one, Tasneem Sallie, I recently discovered playing for the University of Cape Town. It's time they started a game. I have got a squad of 40 players and I also have the All Africa Games to think about at the same time," he said.

Makalakalane said he will not be spending any sleepless nights over the game against Zimbabwe as he considers the match the first step in a grueling journey for him and the girls.

The team: Itumeleng Chimeloane, Thoko Mndaweni, Lena Mosebo, Janine van Wyk, Keneilwe Mathibela, Gloria Thato, Simphiwe Dludlu, Nthabiseng Nyambose, Sallie, Kylie-Ann Louw, Disebo Mametja, Hlengiwe Ngwane, Portia Modise, Bongiwe Radebe, Maphokoane Serabanyane, Chantell Essau, Amanda Dlamini, Lucinda Bowers.