Desiree Ellis names Banyana Banyana World Cup squad

Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis, has named 23 players to represent South Africa at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, starting next month (7 June – 7 July).

Ellis has kept the bulk of the team that was instrumental in the Senior Women’s National Team qualifying for the tournament in Ghana last year, who have a lot of experience but blooded in some number of youngsters in the mix.

She has named two uncapped players, defender Bongeka Gamede, who plays for the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, as well as goalkeeper Mapaseka Mpuru, who is on the books of the University of Pretoria.

Including these two, there are only five players who have made less than 10 appearances each for Banyana Banyana – Tiisetso Makhubela (2), Karabo Dhlamini (5), Sibulele Holweni (1) and Amanda Mthandi (9).



Dhlamini and Holweni will be going to their second World Cup tournament in less than a year – they were part of the U17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) that competed at the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.

The duo makes up four members of the current squad who have World Cup experience – with Kaylin Swart and Jermaine Seoposenwe having played in the tournamanent in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010 as part of the U17 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

There are four players with over 100 caps – captain Janine van Wyk (166), Noko Matlou (152), Nothando Vilakazi (129) and vice captain Refiloe Jane (104).

“It was a difficult period to complete the final squad with many players raising their hands, and that is why we left it until late to announce our team. We went with a lot of experience and included some youngsters because we also have to think about the future. I have always believed in the saying that if a player looks ready don’t mind their age, just give them a chance,” said Ellis.

“I have full confidence in the squad that we have selected and I believe we will surprise many at the tournament.”

Banyana Banyana assemble for camp on Wednesday, 22 May in Johannesburg before flying out to France the next day (Thursday, 24 May).

They will have one last chance to fine-tune the squad with an international friendly match against Norway on 2 June in Amiens.

Banyana Banyana open their World Cup account with a clash against Spain in Le Havre on 8 June, followed by a fixture against China PR on 13 June in Paris.

The final group stages match will be against Germany on 17 June in Montpellier.

BANYANA BANYANA SQUAD FOR THE 2019 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

Goalkeepers

16. Andile Dlamini (1992)   37 capsMamelodi Sundowns FCJohannesburg
20. Kaylin Swart (1994)  18 capsGolden Stars FCPort Elizabeth
1. Mapaseka Mpuru (1998) University of PretoriaPretoria

Defenders

2. Lebohang Ester Ramalepe (1991) 62 capsMa-Indies FCPolokwane
3. Nothando Vilakazi (1988) 129 capsFK Gintra UniversitaLithuania
4. Noko Alice Matlou (1985) 152 capsMa –Indies FCPolokwane
5. Janine Van Wyk (1987)  166 capsJVW FCJohannesburg
13. Bambanani Nolufefe Mbane (1990) 43 capsBloemfontein CelticBloemfontein
23. Bongeka Gamede (1999)University of Western CapeCape Town
14. Tiisetso Makhubela  (1997) 2 capsMamelodi Sundowns FCJohannesburg

Midfielders

15. Refiloe Jane (1992) 104 capsUnattachedJohannesburg
6. Mamello Makhabane (1988) 96 capsJVW FCJohannesburg
7. Karabo Dhlamini (2001) 5 capsMamelodi Sundowns FCJohannesburg
17. Leandra Smeda (1989) 95 capsVottsjo GIKSweden
19. Kholosa Biyana (1994)  17 capsUniversity of Kwazulu NatalDurban
18. Busisiwe Ndimeni (1991) 26 capsUniversity of PretoriaPretoria
21. Sibulele Holweni (2001) 1 capSophakama Ladies/HPCPort Elizabeth
10. Linda Motlhalo (1998) 42 capsBeiging BG Phoenix FCChina

Forwards/ Strikers

22. Rhoda Mulaudzi (1989) 22 capsUnattachedJohannesburg
11. Thembi Kgatlana (1996) 52 capsBeiging BG Phoenix FCChina
12. Jermaine Seoposenwe (1993) 74 capsFK Gintra UniversitaLithuania
9. Amanda Mthandi (1996) 9 capsUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburg
8. Ode Fulutudilu (1990) 11 capsMalaga FCSpain