Ellis names Banyana squad for Cosafa Cup

Desiree Ellis coach of Banyana Banyana (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Desiree Ellis coach of Banyana Banyana (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has named her squad for the 2018 Cosafa Women’s Championship to be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from September 12-22.

Ellis has called up her three top overseas stalwarts, captain Janine van Wyk and midfielders Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana, who all play with Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League in the United States.

Also included is new Canberra United signing Refiloe Jane, who is set to be a key part of the team.

Ellis will use the tournament as a build-up to the African Women’s Championship to be staged in Ghana from November 17, which serves as a qualifier for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.

“It’s been an amazing year for the team; playing the tournament at home will add a little pressure, but I am confident we will defend our title,” Ellis said.

“We must be in superb physical condition for the tournament, while goal-scoring is still something of concern.

“We will use the Cosafa Women’s Championship to prepare for the African Women’s Championship in December, where our main target is to qualify for our maiden Women’s World Cup.”

South Africa will learn their first-round fate on Wednesday at 11am when the draw is held for the pool stages of the Cosafa Women’s Championship.

The 12 teams in the field will be split into three groups, each containing four nations, with the top team and the best-placed runner-up advancing to the semifinals.

Banyana Banyana squad:

Goalkeepers: Kaylin Swart (Menlo College, USA), Roxanne Barker (USC Ladies), Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Defenders: Lebohang Ramalepe (Ma-Indies), Nothando Vilakazi (Falcons FC), Janine van Wyk (Houston Dash, USA), Bambanani Mbane (Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies), Regina Mogolola (TUKS).

Midfielders: Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies), Kholosa Biyana (Uni KZN), Refiloe Jane (Canberra United, Australia), Thato Letsoso (Uni JHB), Nompumelelo Nyandeni (JVW), Hildah Magaia (TUT-PTA), Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana (both Houston Dash, USA).

Strikers: Jermaine Seoposenwe (UWC), Melinda Kgadiete (Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies), Chantelle Esau (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies), Noko Matlou (Ma-Indies)

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