The Banyana Banyana South African women’s soccer side will use their international friendly outing against Zimbabwe in Harare on December 22, as part of their preparations for a 2011 campaign that includes key London 2012 Olympic qualifying fixtures.
In announcing the 18-strong national squad that will travel to Harare, the Banyana Banyana coach Augustine Makalakalane has assured that the term “international friendly” exists on paper only.
ÔÇ£Players take to the field to try and win every game, and while we will learn many lessons which will stand us in good stead ahead of next year’s Olympic qualifying campaign, a win in our final match of 2010, will be the perfect way to finish off what has been a hectic 2010 year of women’s football,ÔÇØ said Makalakalane.
Makalakalane and his fellow Banyana Banyana coaches must have been impressed with the form shown by some of the national squad players during Sasol League Road Show action held on the West Rand earlier this month, and have requested all of the Banyana Banyana players to stay in top shape over the festive season.
ÔÇ£After the trip to Zimbabwe, Banyana Banyana will travel to play Zambia in the away leg of the Olympic qualifiers in mid-January before hosting the Zambians in Durban in the return match on January 29, so there is not a lot of time for conditioning over the next few weeks, hence our call for the players to be responsible and to keep training hard during the break,ÔÇØ said Makalakalane.
Russian-based attacking midfielder/striker Nompumelelo Nyandeni has been included in the national squad after a superb season for her club Rossiyank. Her club’s commitments in Champions League action prevented her from representing the Banyana Banyana at the CAF African Women Championship South Africa 2010.
Amanda Dlamini, who plays for the University of Johannesburg club in the Sasol League (Gauteng) competition, will be hoping to continue finding the back of the opposition’s goal net, following on from the four goals scored during the Banyana Banyana’s bronze medal performance at the CAF African Women Championship South Africa 2010 held in Ekurhuleni near Johannesburg last month.
Likewise, CAF African Women’s Player of the Year’ Noko Matlou will be looking to return to goal-scoring form, while defender Janine van Wyk ÔÇô who was named as the Banyana Banyana Player of the Year at the SAFA Awards held last week – will be out to show the same sort of confidence and skill that made her a crowd favourite during the African showpiece event.
Seventeen-year-old Cape Town Roses FC striker Jermaine Seopesenwe who was named as the Bantwana Player at the SAFA Awards, showed maturity well beyond her age during the CAF African Women Championship South Africa 2010, and she will once again be out to help her Banyana Banyana team-mates finish 2010 on a winning note.
Banyana Banyana squad:
Thoko Mndaweni (Croesus Ladies FC, Gauteng)
Yolula Tsawe (Coastal Ladies FC, Eastern Cape)
Simphiwe Dludlu (Tuks Sports, Gauteng)
Amanda Sister (Liverpool FC, Eastern Cape)
Janine van Wyk (Luso Africa, Gauteng)
Simphiwe Masina (Detroit Ladies FC, Mpumalanga)
Nthabaleng Modiko (University of Johannesburg FC, Gauteng)
Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses FC, Western Cape)
Mary Ntsweng (Mphahlele Ladies FC, Limpopo)
Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies FC, Free State)
Elson Matjila (Detroit Ladies FC, Mpumalanga)
Nompumelelo Nyandeni (Rossiyank FC, Russia)
Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons FC, Gauteng)
Amanda Dlamini (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal)
Noko Matlou (Brazilians FC, Limpopo)
Leandra Smeda (Ambassadors FC, Western Cape)
Mamphashe Popela (Flamingos FC, Mpumalanga)
Jermaine Seopesenwe (Cape Town Roses FC, Western Cape)
Augustine Makalakalane (Head Coach)
Joseph Mkhonza (Assistant Coach)
Tlou Mabotja (Goalkeeper Coach)
Shona Hendricks (Physical Trainer)
Zanele Khanyile (Team Manager)
Dr Paul Maphotho (Team Doctor)
Violet Rapoo (Physiotherapist)
Phyllis Ndlovu (Psychologist)
Eva Mokwape (Kit Manager)