Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has called up a group of 27 locally based players for a training camp as she continues to work on finalizing the squad for the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August.
Ellis has maintained that the local players have to be on par with their overseas-based compatriot to have a balanced team for competition.
The training camp will run from Monday (1 May) – Friday (5 May).
The bulk of the squad is from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (7), UWC (7) and JVW (4).
Sunflower FC is the only Sasol League team represented through Asanda Hadebe.
Shortly before last month’s international friendly match with Serbia, the South Africans also held a similar training camp.
“The last camp we had, when we had that extra week, it really, really helped us. It helped us in terms of getting our defensive structure better. Obviously this is another opportunity now to work on maybe our set-pieces as well because this is sometimes a challenge for us, you know. A week might not seem a lot but it’s a lot in terms of what we can achieve, considering how we grew in the last camp a week before the FIFA date,” she told www.safa.net.
Making a return to the squad after missing out since the friendlies against Brazil last year, is defender Lebogang Ramalepe – who was left out as she was clubless after parting ways with Belarussian side FC Dynamo Minsk.
She is now on the books of Hollywoodbets Super League defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, and scored a brace against Durban Ladies this past weekend.
Also back in the squad are Melinda Kgadiete (Sundowns Ladies), Nthabiseng Majiya (Richmond United) and Amogelang Motau (UWC) who were called up in the previous training camp but had to be withdrawn due to injuries and missed out on the Serbia clash.
Ellis has called up newcomer Nomfundo Thembelihle Buthelezi, a Durban Ladies midfielder who has been a shining star at her club, despite negative results at times for her club.
The coastal outfit is currently eighth on the table, with five wins and six losses after 11 rounds of fixtures.
The Banyana Banyana technical team has also included four goalkeepers with regulars Andile Dlamini (Sundowns Ladies), Kaylin Swart (JVW) and Regirl Ngobeni (UWC) joined by Katlego Moletsane of Royal AM.
“It is a big opportunity for players that are in camp because obviously they have a foot in, but the door is never closed to anyone and it can only be closed once the final squad has been announced. It has been proven over the last couple of years when players came in just before the WAFCON squad was selected, and made the final team. So everybody needs to put in their best performances and best effort because that is what is we’re looking,” added Ellis.
BANYANA BANYANA LOCAL TRAINING CAMP:
|NAME & SURNAME||POS||CLUB||PROVINCE|
|1. ANDILE DLAMINI||GK||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|2. KAYLIN SWART||GK||JVW FC||GAUTENG|
|3. REGIRL NGOBENI||GK||UWC FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|4. KATLEGO MOLETSANE||GK||Royal AM||KWAZULU NATAL|
|5. ASANDA HADEBE||DF||Sunflower FC||KWAZULU NATAL|
|6. KARABO DHLAMINI||DF||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|7. FIKILE MAGAMA||DF||UWC FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|8. CIMONE SAULS||DF||JVW FC||GAUTENG|
|9. LEBOGANG RAMALEPE||DF||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|10. TIISETSO MAKHUBELA||DF||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|11. LONATHEMBA MHLONGO||DF||UWC FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|12. BAMBANANI MBANE||DF||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|13. BONGEKA GAMEDE||DF||UWC FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|14. THUBELIHLE SHAMASE||MF||UJ Ladies||GAUTENG|
|15. THALEA SMIDT||MF||TUKS Ladies||GAUTENG|
|16. NOMFUNDO BUTHELEZI||MF||Durban Ladies||KWAZULU NATAL|
|17. SIBULELE HOLWENI||MF||UWC FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|18. NOMVULA KGOALE||MF||TS Galaxy FC||MPUMALANGA|
|19. ROBYN MOODALY||MF||JVW FC||GAUTENG|
|20. AMOGELANG MOTAU||MF||UWC FC||WESTERN CAPE|
|21. NICOLE MICHAEL||FW||TS Galaxy||MPUMALANGA|
|22. GABRIELA SALGADO||FW||JVW FC||GAUTENG|
|23. SPHUMELELE SHAMASE||FW||UJ Ladies||GAUTENG|
|24. MELINDA KGADIETE||FW||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|25. NTHABISENG MAJIYA||FW||Richmond Ladies||NORTHERN CAPE|
|26. LELONA DAWETI||FW||Sundowns Ladies||GAUTENG|
|27. WENDY SHONGWE||FW||TUKS Ladies|
This article was written by Matlhomola Morake for centrecircle.com and relayed by kick442.com as an official media partner.