Banyana step up Olympic preparations
8 May 2012
South Africa's women's football team, Banyana Banyana, will step up their preparations for the London Olympic Games with a training camp in Potchefstroom from 9 to 18 May, followed by two matches against African opposition later this month.
Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Kylie-Ann Louw and Roxanne Barker will return from abroad and join up with young guns Andile Dlamini, Robyn Moodaly and Lebohang Mabatle, as part of the 24 players that will go into the training camp.
A squad of 18 players will be chosen for an international friendly against Tanzania in Dar Es Salaam on Sunday, 20 May. Banyana will then face Zambia in Lusaka on Saturday, 26 May, in an African Women's Championship first leg qualifier.
Experience and goal scoring
Midfielder Nyandeni, who plays for Russian club Rossiyank FC, will bring experience and a good goal scoring record to the squad. She missed out on the Cyprus Women's Cup in March because of injury and will want to show that she is fit and ready to compete for a place at the London Olympic Games. She has played 92 internationals and scored 27 goals.
While Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza will be keen to analyse the form of his overseas-based players, he is equally happy to have some younger players in camp, who recently did duty for the South African under-20 team.
Defender Lebohang Mabatle (one cap), midfielder Robyn Moodaly (10 caps and one goal) and goalkeeper Andile Dlamini (two caps) will also be out to prove that they can add value to the Banyana Banyana team.
Moodaly was a key member of the Banyana Banyana team that saw off Zambia, Tunisia and Ethiopia en route to Olympic qualification last year, while Dlamini has done her chances a world of good by putting in a super performance for her Mamelodi Sundowns' Ladies side in the Sasol League Gauteng Road Show held in Soweto almost two weeks ago.
"In order to send the best players to the Olympics, we have kept the selection process going for as long as possible to make sure we don't overlook any talent," Mkhonza said in a statement.
"I am happy to welcome back our overseas-based players and the national under 20 side players, so we can assess their form as we enter this crucial phase in the build-up to the Olympics."
Banyana Banyana Squad
Goalkeepers: Thoko Mndaweni (University of Johannesburg), Roxanne Barker (Pepperdine University, USA), Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Lebohang Mabatle (Hallelujah Zebra Force), Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies), Janine van Wyk (Palace Super Falcons), Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies), Refiloe Jane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies), Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons)
Midfielders: Nompumelelo Nyandeni (Rossiyank FC, Russia), Kylie Ann Louw (Stephen Austin University, Texas, USA), Yola Jafta (University of Johannesburg), Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons), Mary Ntsweng (Tshwane University of Technology), Leah Sethunya (Maluti Ladies), Nondyebo Mgudu (Durban Ladies), Robyn Moodaly (HPC)
Strikers: Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcons), Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg), Noko Matlou (University of Johannesburg), Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtic), Andiswe Mgcoyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Leandra Smeda (Cape Town Roses)
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