Banyana Banyana coach trims squad

Nothando Vilakazi, Andisiwe Mgcoyi and Letago Madiba during the Banyana Banyana training at Limbe Omni Sport Stadium . (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw has had to deliver to five of her players the heart-breaking news that they will be missing out on a place at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.

Pauw has cut goalkeepers Mpho Tefo and Yolula Tsawe, defenders Letago Madiba and Jabulile Mazibuko and striker Andisiwe Mgcoyi from a 29-woman squad that has been in camp continuing preparations for Rio.

READ: Banyana will be ready for Olympics – Jordaan

The side beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in a friendly in Tembisa on Sunday and will now play the Netherlands in two friendlies in June.

“The worst job of any coach in the world is to have to trim down the squad to the required official number. Unfortunately it is something that has to be done. If truth be told I hate my job when it comes to having to leave players out of the squad. And, sadly, I am well aware that I am destroying dreams so it is not something we take very lightly – we put very serious thoughts into the process that has been going on for weeks now,” said Pauw.

“But I would like to say to the players that are out of the squad, not all is totally lost because if there is a need for them to be recalled we will certainly do so. Should there be an injury they will be the first to be contacted so they cannot afford to lose hope or take it easy, they need to continue training so that if that call comes, they are ready. So the bottom line is the door is not closed on them.”

Pauw will have to cut her squad for Rio to 22 players (18 first-teamers and four alternates) by July 14. For now, the Banyana coach will travel to the Netherlands with 25 players, including US-based striker Jermaine Seoposenwe and goalkeeper Kaylin Swart.

Midfielder Silindile Ngubane will not travel to the Netherlands due to a family commitment, but will join up with the squad after the trip to Holland.

READ: Banyana need more money – Pauw

today in print