Banyana Banyana head coach, Joseph Mkhonza has announced a squad of 28 players that will attend a training camp in Potchefstroom from 18 – 22 February 2013. The squad is gathering to prepare for the annual Cyprus Women’s Cup which starts on 6 March at Tasos Marajou Stadium in Paralimi, Cyprus.
After the first week of camp, the extended squad will be cut down to 22 players which the coach will take with him to do duty in Cyprus. The squad features six new players whom the coach has been eyeing in a bid to breed a new crop of players for the national team.
“I am trying to look to the future, that is why I have included several players from the Under 20 National team. These are the players we are trying to give a chance, because experience has taught us that we need to be prepared for all circumstances. If you remember when we went to the London Olympic Games we had four key players, so we need a bigger pool of players to be ready to slot in when needed,” said Joseph Mkhonza.
“We also want to qualify for all upcoming tournaments starting with the 2014 African Women’s Championship, where we need to finish in the top three to automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. These two tournaments will help us prepare thoroughly for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.”
Banyana Banyana is expected to depart for Cyprus on Monday, 25 February, but before that they will play a friendly match on Saturday, 23 February with still-to-be announced opponents. Banyana Banyana will also face New Zealand upon arrival in Cyprus as part of their final preparations.
The two clashes will give coach an opportunity to assess the match fitness of the players and also to look at possible combinations before the start of the tournament that will feature teams like England, Canada, Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland.
In their group, Banyana Banyana is drawn with Korea Republic, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. They will kick off against the Korea Republic on Wednesday, 6 March and will go on to play the Republic of Ireland on March 8 and will finish off their group matches against Northern Ireland on March 11.
“This is the first outing of the year for the team, so we need to start on a good footing. This tournament is key as it will give players a good work out for future tournaments,” said Mkhonza.
“We also need to improve our performance in this tournament as we finished 10th out of 12 teams last time around. A good showing will surely improve our rankings.”
The three overseas based players in the squad, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Kylie-Ann Louw and Roxanne Barker will meet up with the rest of the squad upon the team’s arrival in Cyprus.
Banyana Banyana squad that will report for camp on Monday, 18 February 2013 (Number, Name and Club): 1. Andile Dlamini – Sundowns Ladies FC 2. Lebogang Mabatle – Halleluyah Zebra Force 3. Nothando Vilakazi – Palace Super Falcons FC 4. Jermaine Seoposenwe – UWC Ladies FC 5. Janine van Wyk – Palace Super Falcons FC 6. Zamandosi Cele – Durban Ladies FC 7. Nomathemba Ntsibande – Springs Home Sweepers 8. Silindile Ngubane – Durban Ladies 9. Amanda Dlamini – UJ Ladies FC 10. Mary Ntsweng – TUT Ladies FC 11. Noko Matlou – UJ Ladies FC 12. Robyn Moodaly – Alexandra Ladies FC 13. Gabisile Hlumbane – Kovsies Ladies FC 14. Maite Makola – Kanatla Ladies FC 15. Refiloe Jane – Sundowns Ladies FC 16. Kaylin Swart – UWC Ladies FC 17. Andisiwe Mgcoyi – Sundowns Ladies FC 18. Nocawe Skiti – Cape Town Roses FC 19. Memory Makhanya – Durban Ladies FC 20. Zanele Chiya – TUT Ladies FC 21. Mahlatsi Mogola – TUT Ladies FC 22. Regina Mogolola – High Performance Centre 23. Vuyo Mkhabela – UWC Ladies FC 24. Gloria Thato – Tuks Ladies FC 25. Shiwe Nongwanya – Bloemfontein Celtics 26. Nompumelelo Nyandeni* – FC Rossiyanka FC (Russia) 27. Kylie-Ann Louw* – Stephen F. Austin (USA) 28. Roxanne Barker* – Pepperdine University (USA)