Seven new faces in Banyana camp
28 September 2012
Coach Joseph Mkhonza has called up seven new players for a Banyana Banyana training camp starting on 1 October in preparation for the eight-nation African Women's Championship, which kicks off in Equatorial Guinea on 28 October.
"A lot of lessons were learnt at the 2012 London Olympics where we played against some of the world's leading women’s football nations, and we are looking at several new players to see what value they can bring to the national team set up, as we prepare for the CAF African Women Championship 2012," Mkhonza said in a statement this week.
At the Olympics, South Africa were beaten 4-1 by Sweden, then ranked fourth in the world. They then lost 3-0 to Canada, who went on to win the bronze medal and lost to gold medallists, the USA, in extra time in the semi-finals. In Banyana's last game, they secured a goalless draw against World Cup holders, Japan.
Rising in the rankings
It was, by far, the highest level of competition the South African national women's football team, then ranked 61st in the world, had been subjected to. The team has since risen five places to 56th in the Fifa world rankings.
Durban Ladies' striker Silindile Ngubane, with 11 goals, was the leading goal-scorer at the Sasol League National Championships held in Umlazi, near Durban in July and is one of seven called up for national team duty.
She will be joined by City Lads' holding midfielder Andisiwe Ndesi, along with tall Maluti Ladies defender Zanele Dlamini. Dlamini, who is equally at home playing as a striker, was identified by the Banyana Banyana coaches at the Sasol League Road Show held in Welkom in March this year.
Another Durban Ladies' player, central defender Charlotte Mshengu, who is comfortable playing in any of the defensive positions, has also been called to camp, along with speedy Letsete Ladies' striker Makhanya Makhalala and KZN Police team goalkeeper BJ Dladla.
Up from under-17s
Midfielder Precious Matabologa from Kanatla Ladies also received a camp call-up. She represented South Africa at the Fifa under 17 Women's World Cup in the Caribbean in 2010.
University of Johannesburg midfielder Yola Jafta returns from a long-term leg injury that ruled her out of the London Olympic Games held in July.
Banyana Banyana will, however, be without the services of midfielder Robyn Moodaly for the remainder of the year due to her matric exam commitments.
Overseas-based players in goalkeeper Roxanne Barker, a biology student at Pepperdine University USA, and midfielders in Kylie Ann Louw (Stephen Austin University, USA) and Nompumelelo Nyandeni (FC Rossiyinka, Russia) will join the camp on 9 October only.
Just 21 players will be registered for the African Women Championship. The coach is expected to announce the squad for the tournament on Tuesday, 9 October.
2010 African Women's Championship
At the previous African Women's Championship, held in South Africa in 2010, Banyana Banyana finished third after going down to Equatorial Guinea in the semi-finals and beating Cameroon in the playoff for third place.
Nigeria won the title for an eighth time, with defending champions, Equatorial Guinea, the only team besides Nigeria to have won the continental showpiece, finishing runners-up.
Apart from their third place finish in 2010, Banyana also finished third in 2006. They have finished runners-up on three occasions: in 1995, 2000, and most recently in 2008.
'Our profile has gone up'
In August, coach Mkhonza, commenting on what the Olympics had meant to Banyana Banyana said: "Our profile has gone up since the Olympics and we want to maintain that momentum.
"It is important that we constantly work on improving because our goal is to do well in Africa and finish among the top three nations and qualify for the 2015 Women's World Cup." Qualifying for the World Cup would be a first for South Africa.
BANYANA BANYANA SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Thokozile Mndaweni, (University of Johannesburg), Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies), BJ Dladla (KwaZulu Natal Police)
Defenders: Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons), Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies), Janine van Wyk (Palace Super Falcons), Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies), Zanele Dlamini (Maluti Ladies), Charlotte Mshengu (Durban Ladies), Refiloe Jane (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies), Lebogang Mabatle (Hallelujah Zebra Force)
Midfielders: Leandra Smeda (Cape Town Roses), Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses), Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg), Mary Ntsweng (TUT Ladies), Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies Ladies), Yola Jafta (University of Johannesburg), Precious Matabologa (Kanatla Ladies), Andiswe Ndesi (City Lads)
Strikers: Jermaine Seoposenwe (Cape Town Roses), Noko Matlou (University of Johannesburg), Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcons), Andiswe Mgcoyi (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies), Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies), Makhanya Makhalala (Letsete Ladies), Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies)
Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material