The Banyana Banyana international friendly clash against neighbours Lesotho on Sunday is a great opportunity to give new and deserving players who have put their hands up a chance to prove themselves.
That’s according to Banyana coach Desiree Ellis, ahead of the clash at Tsakane Stadium in Ekurhuleni. Kickoff is at 15h00.
“We are looking at having a lot more depth, no disrespect to Lesotho but it gives us the opportunity to test players, we know what the other players can do but to give these players because we need to make the core group bigger,” said Ellis
“Giving players an opportunity is key, we have a lot of players here who have raised their hands and know it is up to them we need to get the best next to the best, where we know if a player is not available due to an injury or other commitments, that the player coming in is of the same quality.
Ellis has called up 10 uncapped players; Mapaseka Mpuru, Jessica Williams and Neliswa Luthuli have been part of the national team set-up before but are yet to don the Banyana jersey, while Xiluva Tshabalala, Karabo Makhurubetshi, Nonhlanhla Mthandi, Nomsa Mathonsi, Pride Nthite, Oratile Mokwena and Lorraine Makhoali received their first call-ups to the Banyana team.
“I told them when they arrived that we believe that they have the ability but now you have to believe you got that ability and show it because some of you will come back and some of you will not come back and that’s not up to me, that’s up to you.”
No overseas Banyana players were selected for the Lesotho clash. “You always want your best players to play but I spoke to all the players that are not in camp on why we selected this group – so early in the year.
“It’s a cycle to prepare, not only for Afcon but for the 2023 World Cup,” said Ellis.
“Whether we like it or not, we have to look into the future. We have to make sure if a player stays out for a long time, decides to retire or whatever else happens, we already have a replacement in place and not get caught out if that eventually happens.”
By FARPost Reporter