Football

BANYANA COACH ELLIS ANNOUNCES FINAL SQUAD FOR OLYMPIC QUALIFIER AGAINST TANZANIA

 Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has announced the final 23-woman squad for the two-legged Olympic Third Round qualifier against Tanzania.

The Sasol-sponsored African champions have been in camp in Johannesburg for the past few days ahead of the matches to be played on 23 February (away) and 27 February (Mbombela Stadium).

Addressing the press conference that was attended by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao and Sasol Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship Nozipho Mbatha, Ellis said this would be a tough match against Tanzania and Banyana Banyana would not take anything for granted.

“We know the opponents, we have footage and we’ve already analysed them, the same way I’m sure as they have analysed us,” Ellis said.

“They beat Togo, who were at the last WAFCON, and that’s no mean feat. They also beat Botswana to qualify for this stage. We all know how good Botswana are and what happened back then. So, we’re not taking anything for granted. We’ve worked a lot on some of the things this week, obviously waiting for the international-based players to meet us on the other side and then continue with our preparations.

“But the analysts have done really well in getting as much information as they can, setting up an analysis on the opponent and as a technical team we’ve all studied that and we know what to expect. We have to be at the absolute best, of course, because that’s the only way you can get the result.”

Dr Jordaan wished coach Ellis’ charges well and said SAFA believes in the South African senior women’s national team.

“We wish Banyana Banyana all the best,” Dr Jordaan said. “It’s going to be a difficult game, but we believe in this team. This team has shown over a period of time that they can produce when the pressure is on. We saw it in Morocco, in Rabat, in the WAFCON final, when we only had Mama Joy in the crowd. They had the whole stand, but Mama Joy silenced them towards the end of the match, and we became the African champions. We are defending that title, but now we are focusing on the Olympics, a very important competition.”

Mbatha said Sasol is fully behind Banyana Banyana and will be cheering for the team in the two matches against Tanzania. “I just want to extend a heartfelt congratulations for the members of the team who have been chosen to represent all of us, including your number one supporter and sponsor Sasol,” she said. I just want to wish coach Desiree Ellis and her technical team, as well as the players, all the best for the upcoming qualifier against Tanzania. We are 1000 percent behind you.”

Banyana Banyana departed for Tanzania on Tuesday (20 February 2024) and will return to South Africa on Saturday (24 February) ahead of their match on Tuesday next week (27 February).

Banyana Banyana squad for the 2024 Third round Olympic qualifier against Tanzania

Goalkeepers
Andile DLAMINI (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Kaylin SWART (JVW FC)
Katlego MOLETSANE (Royal AM)

Defenders
Karabo DHLAMINI (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Fikile MAGAMA (University of the Western Cape)
Asanda HADEBE (Sunflower FC)
Lonathemba MHLONGO (University of the Western Cape)
Noko MATLOU (SD Eibar, Spain)
Lebohang RAMALEPE (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

Midfielders
Linda MOTLHALO (Racing Louisville, USA)
Lesego NKOANE (TS Galaxy)
Kholosa BIYANA (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)
Nomvula KGOALE (TS Galaxy)
Sphumelele SHAMASE (University of Johannesburg)
Amogelang MOTAU (University of the Western Cape)
Thalea SMIDT (University of Pretoria)

Forwards
Nicole MICHAEL (TS Galaxy)
Gabriela SALGADO (JVW FC)
Jermaine SEOPOSENWE (CF Monterrey, Mexico)
Noxolo CESANE (University of the Western Cape)
Hildah MAGAIA (Mazatlan FC, Mexico)
Thembi KGATLANA (Tigres UANL, Mexico)
Nthabiseng MAJIYA (Mamelodi Sundowns FC)

SOURCED FROM THE SAFA WEBSITE.

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