African Women's Champs squad named
10 October 2012
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza has included two new caps in his squad for the 8th Confederation of African Football (CAF) African Women's Championship, which takes place in Equatorial Guinea from 28 October to 11 November.
Durban Ladies' striker Silindile Ngubane and High Performance Centre (Tshwane) goalkeeper Katlego Moletsane are part of a 21-player squad announced by Mkhonza in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Ngubane found the back of the net on 11 occasion for Durban Ladies at the Sasol League National Championships held in Umlazi, near Durban in July, while goalkeeper Moletsane will back up regular number one Thoko Mndaweni and young Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.
The experienced University of Johannesburg Ladies' midfielder Yola Jafta returns to the Banyana Banyana team after missing the London Olympics due to an injury.
'Finish 2012 on a high note'
"Banyana Banyana finished third at the CAF African Women Championship held in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg, two years ago, and the ladies are determined to finish 2012 on a high note after having represented Africa at the Olympic Games in London," Mkhonza said.
"Thanks to Safa and our team sponsor Sasol, we have been able to allow the players to be put through their paces in national training camps in Johannesburg this month, before we head off to prepare the team in hot climatic conditions in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 17 to 25 October."
After their preparations in Cameroon, the South African squad will depart for Malabo to conclude their final preparations for the most important women's football event on the African continent.
Importance of the Sasol League
In congratulating the Banyana Banyana players on their selection, Safa CEO Robin Petersen said: "The selection of Silindile Ngubane to the Banyana Banyana team is a sign of the importance of the Sasol League and the Sasol League National Championships as a feeder of talent to the national side, and I would like to welcome her, as well as goalkeeper Katlego Moletsane to the national team.
"May Banyana Banyana bring further pride to our football-crazy country as they look improve on their second place position they achieved in Equatorial Guinea four years ago by winning the tournament and bettering both their Caf and FifaA rankings."
Banyana Banyana are currently ranked 56th in the world and fourth in Africa.
'The empowerment of women'
Dumisani Mbokane of the national team sponsor, Sasol, expressed his support for Banyana, saying: "Sasol has watched with pride at the journey that the Banyana Banyana have made during our company's four year sponsorship of the national senior women's team and we are pleased to work hand in hand with Safa in creating platforms for the empowerment of women through football, which we view as a core part of nation building."
South Africa has have been drawn in Group A and will face hosts Equatorial Guinea in Malabo on 28 October, Senegal in Malabo on 31 October, and will travel to the island city of Bata for their encounter with DR Congo on 3 November.
Should they progress to the semi-finals, Banyana would play in either Malabo or Bata on 7 November. Both the third place playoff and the final take place in Malabo on 11 November.
By that date, Banyana could have two new centurions in their midst, with inspirational midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni going to Equatorial Guinea on 96 caps and striker Portia Modise on 95 caps (having scored 72 goals for her country).
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