Banyana all set for Holland

BANYANA BANYANA players go into camp today before jetting off to the Netherlands on Tuesday to take part in a Four Nations tournament.

BANYANA BANYANA players go into camp today before jetting off to the Netherlands on Tuesday to take part in a Four Nations tournament.

For this tour, coach Augustine Makalakalane has called up 20 players, whom he hopes to groom for the African Women's Championships next year and beyond. At this tournament, Banyana would have to secure one of the two World Cup places reserved for Africa in the 2011 Germany event.

The Amsterdam tournament will feature China and Switzerland, as well as the hosts, and presents some of these players with a chance to cement their place in the side - particularly as the existence of the Sasol League has ensured that no one could take their place in the team for granted.

Besides the reliable Noko Matlou, the core of this team is made up of players such as Busisiwe Ndimeni, Amanda Dlamini and Hlengiwe Ngwane, who should be able to hold their own against the opponents.

Ngwane, 24, is a defensive midfielder who plies her trade for Gauteng team Palace Super Falcons, and with a nickname like "Mkhelele" after the former great Helman Mkhelele, Ngwane is always looked at to provide a bit of magic for Banyana.

She is capable of shooting from long range and score as demonstrated by the goal she banged in against Namibia last month in Banyana's 4-3 win at Caledonian Stadium.

Another influential player is Ndimeni, who as one of the youngest members of the team has outdone herself in claiming a stake in the starting 11. The 18-year-old was instrumental in Banyana's impressive run in February at the African Womens' Championships in Equatorial Guinea. The tiny midfielder is nicknamed "Botsotso" due to her lack of height, a feature she says gives her the edge as many see her - often to their detriment - as an "underdog" because of it.

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