JOHANNESBURG – Interim head coach of Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has described the retirement of Amanda Dlamini from the national team as a sad day for women’s football.
Dlamini, a former Banyana captain, has decided to hang up her international boots after a long career spanning 11 years, where she earned 105 caps.
She is only one of six players to reach the milestone century of matches for the South African women’s team – others are Portia Modise (retired), Janine Van Wyk (current captain), Noko Matlou, Nompumelelo Nyandeni and recently Nothando Vilakazi.
“This is a sad day for South African women’s football because Amanda has been an integral part of the game for so long. Her name was synonymous with Banyana Banyana.
“And even though she had long relinquished the captain’s armband, many still refer to her to this day as the captain of Banyana Banyana because of her contribution to the growth of the national team,” said Ellis.
“It is also sad to see her depart the scene. We will surely miss her presence as she had a lot of influence both on and off the pitch. She has left big shoes to fill and we are hopeful that with the talent that we have, we will find someone to run with the baton.”
Dlamini was called up for the upcoming international friendly match against Sweden in Cape Town on Sunday, January 21. She was part of a squad of 26 players.
She became the fifth female football player to win 100 caps for South Africa following a friendly match against the United States in July 2016, following in the footsteps of Janine van Wyk, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Portia Modise and Noko Matlou
”It has always been a dream of mine to play for the national team, I have never wanted to do anything else but play football. I am what I am today because of the game.
“I have given so much to the game and to see myself so close to the 100 caps makes me very emotional.”
In 2012, she founded the Amanda Dlamini Girls Foundation aiming to provide basic help to girls in rural areas.
African News Agency (ANA)