Ellis names Banyana squad to represent SA in Cosafa Women’s Championship
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has announced the squad of 20 players to represent SA in the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth at the end of the month.
Ellis made six changes to the squad that exited the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France without winning a single game in France last month.
She did not include overseas-based players in her squad as the event outside of the FIFA calendar.
Spain-based forward Ode Fulutudilu is the only exception as she is set for a move to a new club and is available.
Missing the action will be Leandra Smeda (Sweden)‚ Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana (both China)‚ Jermaine Seoposenwe and Nothando Vilakazi (both Lithuania) as well as newly-signed Rhoda Muluadzi in Cyprus.
The three new caps are Priscilla Pesa (Golden Ladies)‚ Shange Sthembile (Durban Ladies) and Noxolo Cesane (UWC).
Hilda Magaia (TUT-PTA)‚ who last played for Banyana in January‚ has been recalled‚ while Robyn Moodaly of JVW FC returns for the first time since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Also making her way back into the team is DUT's Ongeziwe Ndlangisa‚ who was in the preliminary squad for the World Cup.
“We have had to make changes to the squad due to the unavailability of the overseas players‚” said Ellis.
“While we would have loved to have everyone available‚ this also gives a chance to other players to stake their claims in the squad.
"Hence the three new caps in Priscilla and Shange.
"Both were identified at last year’s Sasol League National Champs‚ and Noxolo‚ who has been an ever-present in the South African U20 Women’s National Team‚” said Ellis.
“Also bear in mind that we are in the new Olympics 2020 and 2023 World Cup cycle‚ and the Cosafa Cup serves as preparations for the 2020 Olympic qualifier against Botswana at the end of August.
"So this works in our favour to try out other players and see just how much talent we have going forward.”
Mapaseka Mpuru‚ Karabo Dhlamini and Sibulele Holweni‚ who all went to France‚ were not considered for due to school work.
Banyana Banyana have been drawn in Group A alongside Comoros Islands‚ Malawi and Madagascar.
Banyana Banyana squad:
Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Kaylin Swart (Golden Stars)
Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe (Ma-Indies FC)‚ Janine Van Wyk (JVW FC)‚ Noko Matlou (Ma-Indies FC)‚ Bambanani Mbane (Bloemfontein Celtic)‚ Noxolo Cesane (UWC)‚ Tiisetso Makhubela (Mamelodi Sundowns)‚ Bongeka Gamede (UWC0‚
Midfielders: Mamello Makhabane (JVW)‚ Busisiwe Ndimeni (TUKS Ladies)‚ Refiloe Jane (Unattached)‚ Kholosa Biyana (UKZN)‚ Robyn Moodaly (JVW)‚ Hildah Magaia (TUT-PTA)‚ Ongeziwe Ndlangisa (DUT)‚ Priscilla Pesa (Golden Ladies)
Strikers: Amanda Mthandi (U J)‚ Ode Fulutudilu (unattached)‚ Shange Sthembile (Durban Ladies)