DURBAN – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has put faith in her tried and tested players as the South African national senior women's team prepares to take on Jamaica in an international friendly at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on April 7.
With both Jamaica and South Africa set to make their debut at the Fifa Women's World Cup in France in June, the match presents the final opportunity on home soil as far as South Africa's squad selection for the world showpiece is concerned.
For the game against Jamaica, Ellis retained the bulk of the players who were a part of Banyana's tenth-placed finish at the Cyprus Women's Cup earlier this month.
Rachel Sebati (TUT-PTA), Ode Fulutudilu (Malaga, Spain) and Jessica Williams (Spurs WFC, CT) all got recalled to the national scene after being in and out of the squad in recent times.
Ellis has also called up Sibulele Holweni (HPC), who was the captain of the U17 Women’s National Team in the World Cup in Uruguay, as well as Yonela Ketu (Thunderbirds FC, Port Elizabeth) and Bongeka Gumede (TUT-PTA).
Regarding the clash against Jamaica, Ellis said: “We have had tough European opponents in the last few weeks, and we are glad to be facing a team with a different style because the main aim of this match is World Cup preparations, and that will help a great deal."
“What makes this extra special is that this is a farewell match, it is the first time we are both going to the World Cup and it is also the first time we are playing them, so there is a lot to play for," added the coach.
Jamaica is ranked 53rd on the Fifa world list, compared to the 48th position held by Banyana.
Following the Jamaica match, the next date in the Banyana diary is an international friendly against the world champs USA at the Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California on May 12.
African News Agency (ANA)