Ellis Announces Squad to Face Japan

Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has named a squad of 22 players to take on former World Champions Japan in an international friendly match scheduled for Sunday, 10 November 2019.

“This is a big test for us, more so because it comes at the back of a loss in the Olympic qualifiers. This is a great test of character for the players as we will be facing one of the most formidable sides in women’s football, who have won the World Cup,” said Ellis.

“We also haven’t played in a while, but I am confident that with most players having featured for their clubs regularly, we will stand our ground. Once again a big thank you to SAFA and our sponsor Sasol for making this match happen – we are eternally grateful.”

Ellis has kept the bulk of the squad that did duty in Banyana Banyana’s last match – against Botswana in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers early in September.

“I believe we have selected the best available players.” – Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis.

The former Banyana captain, Ellis, has called up Nomvula Kgoale, who was last in the national team in the friendly match against the USA. Also returning are China-based Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo – the duo missed the Botswana clash, while Jessica Williams and Ongeziwe Ndlangisa also got the nod. Both were part of the pre-World Cup training squad.

There is only one new cap – Lelona Daweti who plays for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. She has been capped in the U-17 and U-20 Women’s National Teams.

“This is a once-off game where you can’t make wholesale changes or bring in many new players but I believe we have selected the best available players we have, more so because some of those we wanted are busy with exams,” added Ellis.

Missing out are captain Janine van Wyk, who is still recovering from a knee injury – Italy-based Refiloe Jane will lead the team. Also not travelling to the Far East are Hilda Magaia, Amanda Mthandi, Bongeka Gamede, Karabo Dhlamini and Sibulele Holweni who are all busy with exams.

This will be the second ever meeting between the two nations, and Ellis knows all too well that they are a very formidable side.

This is also a special game for Smeda who could be joining the 100-cap club that includes Janine van Wyk, Amanda Dlamini, Portia Modise, Mamello Makhabane, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Matlou and Jane.


Full Banyana Banyana Squad:
GK: Andile Dlamini              
GK: Kaylin Swart        
GK: Jessica Williams
DF: Lebogang Ramalepe      
DF: Bambanani Mbane
DF: Nothando Vilakazi 
DF: Tiisetso Makhubela
DF: Noko Matlou          
DF: Ongeziwe Ndlangisa      
MF: Leandra Smeda    
MF: Mamello Makhabane     
MF: Busisiwe Ndimeni  
MF: Refiloe Jane 
MF: Kholosa Biyana     
MF: Linda Motlhalo              
MF: Robyn Moodaly    
MF: Noxolo Cesane
MF: Nomvula Kgoale   
FW: Jermaine Seoposenwe   
FW: Rhoda Mulaudzi    
FW: Thembi Kgatlana
FW: Lelona Daweti



Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis, has named a squad of 22 players that will be heading off to Japan for an international friendly against the former World Champions on Sunday, 10 November 2019. Photo: SAFA.net


With editing by gsport

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