The Sasol-sponsored senior women’s national team underwent rigours tests to enable the coach and his technical team to select the 21 players that travelled to Mpumalanga on Monday, 3 June. The squad is currently preparing for their international friendly match against Mozambique to be played at the Kanyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday (kick-off: 15h00).
The coach said after careful assessment of all the players, he had tried out new combinations and was impressed by the quality that each player possessed. Unfortunately he could not take all the players and had to trim down the squad for this camp.
“We had to leave behind three players and move on with the other 21. It is always hard to cut players from camp, but they should not be discouraged as we will call them up in future. The 21 players that are left in camp will be put through their paces before they come up against tough opposition in the friendly against Mozambique,” said Mkhonza.
He said they were looking for certain qualities in the selected players. He will want the players to play a brand of football that will become synonymous with Banyana Banyana, one that will leave a lasting legacy in women’s football.
“I have however warned some of the older players to guard against complacency as nobody’s position is guaranteed. Everyone is required to put in an equal amount of effort, as we look to take this team to greater heights,” said Mkhonza.
A squad of 18 Banyana Banyana players will travel back to Johannesburg on Monday 10 June, for the next friendly encounter against Zimbabwe on Saturday, 15 June, at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton.
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk said the spirit in camp was at an all-time high, and has encouraged players who did not make the cut to work hard and not give up on their dreams.
“I am appreciative of the spirit in camp. Everybody has been putting in their best, and we further understand that not everyone will travel to Mpumalanga, but I have encouraged them not to give up on their dreams and work towards making the team a success,” said van Wyk.
Banyana Banyana team manager and former national team player, Lydia Monyepao shared her experience about becoming a Banyana Banyana player. She encouraged those who did not make the team to not give up on their dreams, but to go back to their clubs and work on improving their talent.
“The team has come far in its 20 years of featuring in international football. Banyana Banyana made history by going to the Olympic Games in London last year. We need to look at the bigger picture and aim for greater heights, such as building towards winning the 2014 African Women’s Championship. That will be our ticket to qualifying for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, and look even further to participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Don’t give up on your dreams and work harder because your efforts will be recognised,” said Monyepao.
Banyana Banyana squad that will travel to Mpumalanga: 1. Andile Dlamini -Mamelodi Sundowns 2. Nkosingiphile Zungu – Remax Shooting Stars 3. Mahlatsi Mogola – TUT PTA 4. Primrose Ndlozi – TK Stars (Mpumalanga) 5. Gabisile Hlumbane – Kovsies Ladies 6. Nothando Vilakazi – Super Falcons 7. Nelisiwe Mchunu – Moroka Swallows 8. Lebogang Mabatle – Zebra Force 9. Janine Van Wyk – Mondeor Meteors Ladies 10. Charlotte Mshengu – Durban Ladies 11. Nwabisa Kolisi – City Lads 12. Amanda Dlamini – Durban Ladies 13. Nocawe Skiti – Cape Town Roses 14. Nomathemba Ntsibande – Springs Home Sweepers 15. Nomawethu Nyusani – Coastal United Ladies 16. Memory Makhanya – Durban Ladies 17. Noko Matlou – MaIndies 18. Zingawe Phakathi – United Ladies 19. Silindile Ngubane – Durban Ladies 20. Shiwe Nogwanya – Celtics 21. Zamandosi Cele – Durban Ladies