South Africa's head coach, Desiree Ellis, has announced a provisional squad of 31 players to start preparations for the upcoming 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament scheduled for Ghana from 17 November to 1 December.
The premier African Women’s football showpiece will be used as a 2019 FIFA Women World Cup qualifier and the top three nations at the end of the tournament, will represent the continent at the World Cup in France in June.
Coach Desiree Ellis has named a strong squad to prepare for the 2018 Women's AFCON
Ellis’ squad shows consistency, as she has not deviated much from the players that have been doing business for Banyana Banyana since the beginning of the year as well as played in the qualifying campaign.
The 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship gold medalists recently returned from the tour of Chile where they played two international friendly matches against the host nation – losing 2-1 and also playing to a 2-2 draw.
“We have brought in players that have been part of our core group for a while now, and those we have been monitoring over a period of time. The training camp will focus mainly on improving team cohesion and fitness, while at the same time also keeping an eye on the new players,” said Ellis.
“We have now reached the business end of the year where the planning has to be meticulous as we are edging closer to the tournament.”
Among those getting a recall are Yolula Tsawe, Mamello Makhabane (both JVW FC), Hilda Magaia, Jabulile Mazibuko (both TUT-PTA), Siyamthanda Skeyi (Thunderbirds) and Amogelang Motau (Oral Roberts University – USA).
South Africa's coach has kept faith with the squad that have been playing together since January 2018
The provisional squad as released by Coach Ellis, is the strongest indication of her plans to lead the team to win the title for the first time. Though they have hosted the competition on three occasions -- 2000, 2004 and 2010, they are yet to win, with their best performance seeing them finish as runners-up in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
At the last edition in Cameroun, they finished in fourth place after losing the final to Ghana's Black Queens.
Bayana Bayana, sponsored by Sasol, are also set to play an international friendly against hosts, Ghana, first in Johannesburg on November 9, with the return leg in Accra
For the tournament in Ghana, South Africa will begin their campaign in Group B alongside defending champions, Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia and they will be based in Cape Coast.
1.Andile Dlamini Mamelodi Sundowns FC(Pretoria)
2. Kaylin Swart Menlo College (Port Elizabeth)
3. Roxanne Barker University of Western Cape (Cape Town)
4. Yolula Tsawe JVW FC(Johannesburg)
5. Lebogang Ramalepe Ma-Indies FC(Polokwane)
6. Nothando Vilakazi Palace Super Falcons FC(Johannesburg)
7. Janine Van Wyk Houston Dash (USA)
8. Noko Matlo Ma-Indies FC (Polokwane)
9. Bambanani Mbane Bloemfontein Celtic FC (Bloemfontein)
10. Regina Mogolola University of Pretoria(Pretoria)
11. Tiisetso Makhubela Mamelodi Sundowns FC (Pretoria)
12. Thato Letsoso University of Johannesburg(Johannesburg)
13. Koketso Tlailane TUT-PTA (Pretoria)
14. Kgaelebane Mohlakoana Bloemfontein Celtic (Bloemfontein)
15. Refiloe Jane Canberra United (Australia)
16. Rachel Sebati TUT-PTA (Pretoria)
17. Mamello Makhabane JVW FC (Johannesburg)
18. Sduduzo Dlamini Sunflower FC (Durban)
19. Leandra Smeda Gintra Universitetas (Lithuania)
20. Nompumelelo Nyanden JVW FC(Johannesburg)
21. Linda Motlhalo Houston Dash (USA)
22. Kholosa Biyana University of KZN (Durban)
23. Hildah Magaia TUT-PTA (Pretoria)
24. Jabulile Mazibuko TUT-PTA (Pretoria)
25. Siyamthanda Skeyi Thunderbirds FC(East London)
26. Khanya Xesi University Western Cape(Cape Town)
27, Amogelang Motau Oral Roberts University(USA)
28. Jermaine Seoposenwe JVW FC(Johannesburg)
29. Thembi Kgatlana Houston Dash (USA)
30. Melinda Kgadiete Bloemfontein Celtic (Bloemfontein)
31. Amanda Mthandi University of Johannesburg (Johannesburg)