Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis, has named a 23 women squad to represent South Africa at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, starting next month (7 June – 7 July).

Coach Ellis has kept faith with majority of the players that won silver at 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana last year and have been involved in all friendly games since.

Ellis has named two uncapped players, defender Bongeka Gamede, who plays for the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, as well as goalkeeper Mapaseka Mpuru, who is on the books of the University of Pretoria.

The squad includes two youngsters who were part of the U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) that competed at the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay in Karabo Dhlamini and Sibulele Holweni.

One big surprise would have been the exclusion of the experienced midfielder, Nompumelelo Nyandeni who has been part of the squad through out the build-up to the world cup.

Coach Ellis said it was very difficult to select 23 players with so many players raising their hands.

“It was a difficult period to complete the final squad with many players raising their hands, and that is why we left it until late to announce our team. We went with a lot of experience and included some youngsters because we also have to think about the future. I have always believed in the saying that if a player looks ready don’t mind their age, just give them a chance.

“I have full confidence in the squad that we have selected and I believe we will surprise many at the tournament.” Said Ellis.

Banyana Banyana assemble in Johannesburg for camp on Wednesday, 22 May before flying out to France the next day (Thursday, 23 May).

Full squad (Starts with Jersey numbers)

GOALKEEPERS
16. ANDILEDLAMINI – Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, JOHANNESBURG
20. KAYLIN SWART – Golden Stars FC, PORT ELIZABETH
1. MAPASEKA MPURU – University of Pretoria, PRETORIA

DEFENDERS:
2. LEBOGANG RAMAMALEPE – Ma-Indies FC, POLOKWANE
3. NOTHANDO VILAKAZI – FK Gintra Universita, LITHUANIA
05. JANINE VAN WYK (C) – JVW FC,JOHANNESBURG
04. NOKO MATLOU – Ma-Indies FC, POLOKWANE
13. BAMBANANI MBANE – Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies, BLOEMFONTEIN
14. TIISETSO MAKHUBELA – Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, JOHANNESBURG
23. BONGEKA GAMEDE – University of Western Cape (UWC), CAPE TOWN

MIDFIELDERS:                                                                                                           11. KARABO DHLAMINI – Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, JOHANNESBURG                        06. MAMELLO MAKHABANE – JVW FC, JOHANNESBURG
17. LEANDRA SMEDA – Vittsjo GIK, SWEDEN
21. SIBULELE HOLWENI – Sophakama Ladies/HPC, PORT ELIZABETH
10. LINDA MOTLHALO – Beiging BG Phoenix FC, CHINA
18. BUSISIWE NDIMENI – TUT-PTA, PRETORIA
15. REFILOE JANE – Unattached, JOHANNESBURG
18. MOLATELO SEBATA – First Touch Academy, POLOKWANE
19. KHOLOSA BIYANA – University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN), DURBAN

FORWARDS
12. JERMAINE SEOPOSENWE – JVW FC, JOHANNESBURG                                       08. ODE FULUTUDILU – Malaga FC, SPAIN
11. THEMBI KGATLANA – Beiging BG Phoenix FC, CHINA
09. AMANDA MTHANDI – University of Johannesburg (UJ), JOHANNESBURG
22. RHODA MULAUDZI – Unattached, JOHANNESBURG

Written by: Diski Voice