CAPE TOWN – Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has named the 18-woman squad to play in the Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos, Nigeria, from 13-21 September.
The team assembled at the SAFA Technical Centre (Fun Valley) on Sunday, and will depart for Nigeria on Sunday. They will be joined by the overseas-based players in Nigeria.
Banyana Banyana were scheduled to travel to the Netherlands in June to play the hosts in an international friendly as part of the CAF AWCON preparations, but the trip was cancelled due to Covid-19 challenges.
The team had their first training session on Monday, and coach Ellis was satisfied with the level of fitness of most of the players.
“It was good to see the players after a long while. You can see that they have been playing. The level of fitness is what we reasonably expected,” said Ellis.
“As the week goes by, we will concentrate more on specifics and conditioning before we travel. I was also very happy with the new players that came in, they don’t look like they are too far behind as well."
The Banyana Banyana coach added that the Aisha Buhari Cup was ideal for the AWCON qualifiers preparations and an opportunity to also look at Banyana’s overseas-based players.
“We have the Buhari Cup, The COSAFA Cup, and the AWCON and we have already worked on what we think we will need over the next two months. Consistency and regular game time are always key as we are trying to make sure that we have covered our bases but the first tournament (Aisha Buhari Cup) will dictate what happens next,’’ said Ellis.
Banyana Banyana squad
Goalkeepers: Kaylin Swart (JVW FC), Regirl Ngobeni (University of Western Cape)
Defenders: Lebohang Ramalepe (Dinamo Minsk), Janine van Wyk (Glasgow City), Tiisetso Makhubele (Tshwane University of Technology), Bambanani Mbane (Mamelodi Sundowns FC), Koketso Tlailane (Tshwane University of Technology FC)
Midfielders: Ongeziwe Ndlangisa (Sunflower FC), Mamello Makhabane (JVW FC), Thembi Kgatlana (Atletico Madrid), Refiloe Jane (AC Milan), Linda Motlhalo (Djurgardens FC), Robyn Moodaly (JVW FC), Noxolo Cesane (University of Western Cape), Gabriela Salgado (JVW FC)
Forwards: Sibulele Holweni (University of Western Cape), Melinda Kgadiete (Mamelodi Sundowns FC), Hildah Magaia (Moron BK)