Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis has named a squad of 26 players to take on neighbours Lesotho in an international friendly match on Sunday, March 8 at Tsakane Stadium. Kickoff is at 15h00.
Ellis has called up 10 uncapped players in what will be Banyana’s first game of the year as they last played in November 2019 when they lost to Japan at the Kitakyushu Stadium in Fukuoka.
The new faces include: Mapaseka Mpuru, Jessica Williams, Neliswa Luthuli, Xiluva Tshabalala, Karabo Makhurubetshi, Nonhlanhla Mthandi, Nomsa Mathonsi, Pride Nthite, Oratile Mokwena and Lorraine Makhoali.
Lebogang Mabatle, Koketso Tlailane, and in-form, TUT Ladies striker Hilda Magaia make a return to the squad for the Lesotho encounter while no overseas-based players were selected.
“With no disrespect to Lesotho for leaving out these players, the main aim for us is to look into the future – we have to ask ourselves the question, what do we have going forward? I know exactly what these regulars can offer the team,” said Ellis.
“But we also have to work on a succession plan. We have to increase the pool of players we have. We are a team in transition and to prepare for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup we have to start now,” added Ellis.
“We would like to see the other players closer, and check if they have anything to offer the national team. I am confident we will do well against Lesotho,” concluded Ellis.
In the absence of Refiloe Jane, Lebogang Ramalepe will wear the armband against Lesotho.
Banyana assembled for camp on Monday in Johannesburg.
The Full Squad to face Lesotho:
Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Mapaseka Mpuru (University of Pretoria), Jessica Williams (Spurs WFC)
Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe (C), [Ma- Indies FC], Tiisetso Makhubela (TUT Ladies), Bongeka Gamede (UWC Ladies), Sibulele Holweni (UWC Ladies), Xiluva Tshabalala (Ma-Indies). Lebogang Mabatle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Koketso Tlailane (TUT Ladies), Ongeziwe Ndlangisa (Sunflower FC), Karabo Makhurubetshi (Mamelodi Sundowns).
Midfielders: Mamello Makhabane (JVW FC), Karabo Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Robyn Moodaly (JVW FC) Nomvula Kgoale (TUT Ladies), Nonhlanhla Mthandi, (Mamelodi Sundowns), Neliswa Luthuli (Sunflower FC), Noxolo Cesane (University of Free State).
Strikers: Rhoda Mulaudzi (Mamelodi Sundowns, Hilda Magaia (TUT Ladies), Amanda Mthandi (UJ Ladies), Pride Nthite (UJ Ladies), Lorraine Makhoali (Golden Ladies FC).
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi