2018 Women's AFCON: South Africa coach names provisional squad

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
South Africa's Bayana Bayana retained the COSAFA title this year
South Africa's Bayana Bayana retained the COSAFA title this year

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.

Provisional Squad:

Player                                           Club

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)