Banyana Banyana will be seeking a fourth Cosafa Women’s Championship title in a row when they contest this year’s edition in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, from Tuesday to November 14.
It is a new-look squad for coach Desiree Ellis as a result of her overseas-based stars being unavailable.
But with some exciting new talent to keep an eye on, there will be plenty for fans to look forward to.
“We have always used the Cosafa Women’s Championship as a chance to give new and younger players an opportunity to see if they can rise to the occasion, play in an international competition and give them the experience,” said Ellis.
“We always say, if you want to conquer Africa, you first have to conquer your own region. So we are using a number of players from the Under-20 team, and we have also recalled [JVW FC striker] Gabriela Salgado who last played [for Banyana] in 2018.
“We also have some new caps such as [defenders] Karabo Makhurubetshi from Mamelodi Sundowns and Xiluva Tshabalala, who we saw at the Sasol championships.
“But we also have players who went to the Fifa Women’s World Cup, such as our captain [goalkeeper] Andile Dlamini and [defenders] Kaylyn Jordaan and Bongeka Gamede. Then there is the evergreen Mamello [Makhabane], who is the vice-captain of the team and midfielder Robyn Moodaly.
“We have a young group with a little bit of a mix of experience. Nine of the players that played at last year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship are now playing abroad, so we almost have a new squad for this year’s Cosafa.” –
Banyana squad for Cosafa
Goalkeepers: Kaylin Christen Swart (Unattached), Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Defenders: Karabo Makhurubetshi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Koketso Mmathabo Tlailane (TUT-Pretoria), Bongeka Gamede (University of Western Cape), Sibulele Cecilia Holweni (University of Western Cape), Xiluva Tshabalala (MaIndies FC), Ongeziwe Ndlangisa (Sunflower FC), Kaylyn Octavia Jordaan (Spurs FC)
Midfielders: Oratile Dikgosi Mokwena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mamello Makhabane (JVW FC), Gabriela Salgado (JVW FC), Robyn Moodaly (JVW FC), Nonhlanhla Mthandi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mapule Nomvula Kgoale (TUT-Pretoria), Karabo Dhlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lonathemba Mhlongo (Durban Ladies FC)
Strikers: Hildah Tholakele Magaia (TUT-Pretoria), Neliswa Luthuli (Sunflower FC), Pride Nthite (TUT-Pretoria)