Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza is set to be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the 21 players who will represent South Africa at the CAF African Women Championship 2012 in Equatorial Guinea from 28 October to 11 November.
The Sasol-sponsored women’s senior national team has been hard at training at the national camp which started in Johannesburg on Monday, 1 October. With overseas-based players in goalkeeper Roxanne Barker, and midfielders Kylie Ann Louw and Nompumelelo Nyandeni set to arrive in South Africa next Tuesday, the race for places in the team is hotting up.
“The Banyana Banyana players realise the importance of doing well at the CAF African Women Championship 2012 which will have a healthy impact on our current world and African ranking and nobody wants to miss out on competing in Africa’s showpiece event,” said Mkhonza.
Banyana Banyana are currently ranked No 56 in the world and No 4 in Africa. The national team finished as bronze medallists at the CAF African Women Championship 2010 held in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg with Nigeria pipping Equatorial Guinea for top spot.
“Safa and our team sponsor Sasol need to be thanked for making this national camp possible, and I can see thepassion and discipline that is being displayed in training. None of the ladies want to be left out of the national team so the competition for places is fierce,” added the national coach.
All the players are fit and out to impress the technical team – except for central defender Janine van Wyk, who has been side-lined with a bronchitis infection for the remainder of the week, and midfielder Mary Ntsweng (absent due to tertiary exams).
“We realise that we need to beef up the strikeforce and have invited some new faces to the camp in the hope ofunearthing talent that can add value to our current crop of players,” said Mkhonza.
Durban Ladies (Sasol League KwaZulu Natal) striker Silindile Ngubane, with 11 goals, was the leading goal-scorer at the Sasol League National Championships held in Umlazi, near Durban in July – she has reported for national team duty.
Maluti Ladies defender Zanele Dlamini (Sasol League Free State) is equally at home playing as a striker. Dlamini was identified by the Banyana Banyana coaches at the Sasol League Road Show held in Welkom earlier this year.
The third new attacker in camp is Letsete Ladies (Sasol League Free State) speedy striker Makhanya Makhalala.
Other news faces in the Banyana Banyana squad are City Lads (Sasol League Eastern Cape) holding midfielder Andisiwe Ndesi, Durban Ladies (Sasol League KwaZulu Natal) central defender Charlotte Mshenge,Midfielder Precious Matabologa from Kanatla Ladies (Sasol League Limpopo) and goalkeeper BJ Dladla (KwaZulu Natal Police team) are the other newcomers called to camp by Mkhonza.
Banyana Banyana camp in Johannesburg (1 to 8 October 2012): Goalkeepers: Thokozile Mndaweni (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) BJ Dladla (KwaZulu Natal Police) Defenders: Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies, Eastern Cape) Janine van Wyk (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Zanele Dlamini (Maluti Ladies, Free State) Charlotte Mshengu (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Refiloe Jane (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Lebogang Mabatle (Hallelujah Zebra Force, Gauteng) Midfielders: Leandra Smeda (Cape Town Roses, Western Cape) Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses, Western Cape) Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies Ladies, Free State) Yola Jafta (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Precious Matabologa (Kanatla Ladies, Limpopo) Andiswe Ndesi (City Lads, Eastern Cape) Strikers: Jermaine Seoposenwe (Spurs WFC, Western Cape) Noko Matlou (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Andiswe Mgcoyi (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Makhanya Makhalala (Letsete Ladies, Free State) Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies, Free State)