Banyana Banyana head coach Vera Pauw, has trimmed down her national women’s senior squad of 29.
Pauw needs only 18 (plus four alternate players) to make a final squad of 22 which will represent South Africa at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games which start in August.
Goalkeepers Mpho Tefo (Kanatla Ladies) and Yolula Tsawe (JvW FC), defenders Letago Madiba (TUT Ladies) and Jabulile Mazibuko (Tuks) as well as striker Andisiwe Mgcoyi (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies) have been left out of the squad.
Pauw says this was the toughest decision she had to make.
‘The worst job of any coach in the world is to have to trim down the squad to the required official number. Unfortunately it is something that has to be done.
‘If truth be told I hate my job when it comes to having to leave players out of the squad. And, sadly, I am well aware that I’m destroying dreams so it is not something we take very lightly – we put very serious thoughts into the process that has been going on for weeks now,’ said Pauw.
‘But I would like to say to the players that are out of the squad, not all is totally lost because if there is a need for them to be recalled we will certainly do so.
‘Should there be an injury they will be the first to be contacted so they cannot afford to lose hope or take it easy, they need to continue training so that if that call comes, they are ready. So the bottom line is the door is not closed on them.’
With the five players out of the squad from the initial 29, the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will now have 26 players at the start of the next training camp – with the addition of USA-based striker Jermaine Seoposenwe and goalkeeper Kaylin Swart.
But only 25 players will travel to The Netherlands.
Midfielder Silindile Ngubane will not be part of the squad as she has a family commitment, but she is expected back in camp when Banyana Banyana returns from Europe.
Pauw has until 14 July to name her final squad of 22 players.
Goalkeepers: Roxanne Barker, Andile Dlamini, Mapaseka Mpuru
Defenders: Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine van Wyk, Noko Matlou, Lerato Kgasago, Nomathemba Ntsibande, Bambanani Mbane, Lebogang Mabatle
Midfielders: Mamello Makhabane, Amanda Dlamini, Silindile Ngubane, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Bongiwe Thusi, Linda Motlhalo, Stephanie Malherbe
Strikers: Sanah Mollo, Shiwe Nogwanya, Thembi Kgatlana, Chantelle Essau
US-based players: Jermaine Seoposenwe, Kaylin Swart