Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has named a 25-member squad for the Aisha Buhari Cup that will take place in Lagos, Nigeria from 12-21 September 2021.
The team will assemble at the SAFA Technical Centre (Fun Valley) on Sunday, 5 September 2021 where they will undergo a week of training before departure to Nigeria.
The national women’s team last got together in June where they were scheduled to travel to the Netherlands and play the hosts in an international friendly to enhance preparations for CAF AWCON. However, the trip was called off due to Covid-19 issues.
Coach Desiree Ellis believes the Buhari Cup is very important as it consists of top African opposition and she believes the opposition will give her charges the test the team requires.
“It was unfortunate that the game against the Netherlands was cancelled due to us having Covid-19 positive cases in our camp just before departure. We needed this test especially after the Zambia and Botswana friendly matches in April,’’ said Ellis.
“The Aisha Buhari Cup is now very important as it now allows us to play international football again. We have always asked SAFA and Sasol to get us top opposition and we are very excited about this upcoming tournament.
‘’We know that Nigeria have been very active along with Morocco who have recently played Mali in two international friendly matches. Cameroon has a new coach who is preparing their team and my good friend coach Mercy is also getting Ghana ready for the tournament,” added Ellis.
The Banyana Banyana coach added that the Aisha Buhari Cup was an ideal dress rehearsal for the AWCON qualifiers.
“It’s like a mini AWCON itself. It is an opportunity to test ourselves after having missed a lot of football over the last 18 months both locally and internationally. It’s also an opportunity to have a look at some of the overseas based players that we have not seen since 2019 due to Covid-19 protocols and quarantine regulations in the countries where they are currently playing,’’ added coach Ellis.
“There are a few players that are not available for various reasons including injuries and visa challenges”, concluded Ellis.
Banyana Banyana is in Group B together with Cameroon and Ghana for the Aisha Buhari Cup.
Full Banyana Banyana Squad for the Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos, Nigeria, from 12-21 September 2021:
Kaylin Swart (JVW FC)
Regirl Ngobeni (University of Western Cape)
Lebohang Ramalepe (Dinamo Minsk)
Janine van Wyk (Glasgow City)
Tiisetso Makhubele (Tshwane University of Technology)
Bambanani Mbane (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Bongeka Gamede (University of Western Cape)
Koketso Tlailane (Tshwane University of Technology FC)
Ntombifikile Ndlovu (Sunflower FC)
Ongeziwe Ndlangisa (Sunflower FC)
Oratile Mokwena (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Mamello Makhabane (JVW FC)
Nomvula Kgoale (Tshwane University of Technology)
Thembi Kgatlana (Atletico Madrid)
Refiloe Jane (AC Milan)
Linda Motlhalo (Djurgardens FC)
Robyn Moodaly (JVW FC)
Noxolo Cesane (University of Western Cape)
Gabriela Salgado (JVW FC)
Lelona Daweti (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Sibulele Holweni (University of Western Cape
Melinda Kgadiete (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Hildah Magaia (Moron BK)
Faya Mandisa (Lindelani Ladies)
Nthabiseng Majiya (Richmond Ladies)
Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has named a 25-member squad for the Aisha Buhari Cup that will take place in Lagos, Nigeria from 12-21 September 2021. Photo: Sasol League (Twitter)
With editing by gsport