Forty-three players will be looking to impress new Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria on Thursday afternoon (20 March 2014).
The Netherlands-born coach is in the process of building a squad with players who will represent the country at the 2014 edition of the CAF African Women’s Championship set for Namibia in October this year.
The Sasol-sponsored Senior Women’s National team completed their first training session on Monday (19 March) afternoon.
With a mix of regular and new faces, Pauw said she was impressed by the commitment displayed at their first training session. She said she was now faced with a task of selecting the core of the squad that will face Comoros in a single round robin format CAF African Women Championship qualifiers scheduled for the end of May 2014.
“It’s fantastic to see the mobility and skills that the players have. We worked on the basic principles of occupying the pitch and trying to get the players to benefit from each other’s qualities and we could see improvements as the training session progressed. First thing is to structure the team. We want them to adopt the behaviours that we took them through so they can become second nature to the players and we can then start build on from there.
“Another aspect that we’ve focussed on is their fitness levels, which so far have not been disappointing. As we progress with the training sessions, we expect them to get sharper and stronger plus get better actions in the game,” said Pauw.
The Banyana Banyana defence sees the return of Amanda Sister and former captain, Simphiwe Dludlu and their experience will be beneficial to the national team.
Several new faces in the squad include players who were part of the South African U17 Women’s National team (Bantwana) that participated in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010.
“We must focus on the task at hand of qualifying for the CAF African Women’s Championship. Then we will shift our focus on to the actual competition set for Namibia in October as we look to get the team within the top three that will qualify for the World Cup,” said Pauw.
The selection and training camp will conclude on Sunday, 23 March.
Banyana Banyana Players in Camp: Goalkeepers: 1. Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns) 2. Nkosingiphile Zungu* (Remax Shooting Stars) 3. Simphiwe Mnguni (Newcastle) 4. Roxanne Barker (Local at present) 5. Katlego Moletsane (Golden Ladies F.C) Defenders: 6. Nothando Vilakazi (Super Falcons) 7. Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies) 8. Janine van Wyk (Winchester Ladies) 9. Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies) 10. Leandra Smeda (UWC Ladies) 11. Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies Ladies) 12. Refiloe Jane (VUT Ladies) 13. Lebogang Mabatle (TUKS Ladies) 14. Simphiwe Dludlu (TUKS Ladies FC) 15. Nelisiwe Mchunu (Moroka Swallows) 16. Shadi Matenche (UJ Ladies) 17. Kgomotso Molapo (Al PUK Tawana FC) 18. Jabulile Mazibuko* (TUKS Ladies FC) Midfielders: 19. Ella Madonsela (Mpumalanga LAD) 20. Monica Schalkwyk* (Al PUK Tawana) 21. Amanda Dlamini (Durban Ladies) 22. Mary Ntsweng (TUT Ladies) 23. Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses) 24. Gloria Thato (TUKS Ladies) 25. Nomathemba Ntsibande (Springs Home Sweepers) 26. Memory Makhanya (Durban Ladies) 27. Mbali Bhengu (Sunflower) 28. Keneilwe Mathibela (TUKS Ladies) 29. Anele Dladla (Galaxy FC) 30. Mapule Kgoale* (UWC Ladies) 31. Maphuthi Manamela* (UJ Ladies) 32. Amanda November (Pioneer) 33. Busisiwe Ndimeni (Mamelodi Sundowns) 34. Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons) Strikers: 35. Noko Matlou (MaIndies) 36. Sanah Mollo (TUT Ladies) 37. Shiwe Nogwanya* (Bloemfontein Celtics) 38. Zingawe Phakathi (United Ladies) 39. Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies) 40. Precocious Matabologa* (UJ Ladies) 41. Palesa Mvala (Cilve FC) 42. Lebogang Ramalepe (MaIndies) 43. Regina Mogolola (TUKS Ladies FC)
Photo caption: Incoming Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw about to be interviewed by Thomas Mlambo on SABC1’s [email protected] show, on Wednesday, 19 March. Photo: Screengrab of SABC broadcast
(With editing by gsport)