Banyana unveil AWC squad

Banyana Banyana (Gallo Images)
Banyana Banyana (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw has named the strongest available squad on Tuesday for the CAF African Women's Championship (AWC) in Namibia.

Pauw trimmed her squad from 31 to 21 players for the tournament taking place from October 11 to 25.

"This is the worst part of my job as head coach. Having to release players in such a great group was not an easy task," said Pauw.

Banyana are drawn in the "Group of Death" together with Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana.

They face Cameroon in their opening match of the group at the Independence Stadium on October 12.

Banyana started preparations for the showpiece in Namibia immediately after beating the Union of the Comoros 13-0 in a qualifying match.

Goalkeeper Roxanne Barker is the only overseas-based player included in the squad, while the rest of the players play for provincial league teams.

"The players who have been released from the team have asked to remain and train with the rest of the team, and that for me showed great team spirit," said Pauw.

The championships will also be used as qualifiers for the 2015 Fifa Women's World Cup.

Only the top three finishers at the tournament will automatically qualify to compete at the World Cup, scheduled to be held in Canada next year.

The Dutch-born mentor has been in training camps with her charges for the past four months.

During that time they have played eight international friendlies --winning seven and drawing the remaining match.

Banyana blazed their way past Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Cote dI'voire.

Banyana squad:
Andile Dlamini, Thokozile Mndaweni, Roxanne Barker, Noko Matlou, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine van Wyk, Nomathemba Ntsibande, Simphiwe Dludlu, Lebogang Ramalepe, Gloria Thato, Amanda Dlamini, Sanah Mollo, Leandra Smeda, Refiloe Jane, Mamello Makhabane, Mpumi Nyandeni, Shiwe Nongwanya, Silindile Ngubane, Ode Fulutudilu, Thembi Kgatlana, Portia Modise.

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