New faces for Banyana? | SASCOC - SASCOC

New faces for Banyana?

Banyana Banyana soccer coach Joseph Mkhonza has laid down the challenge to national team newcomers to show character and prove that they deserve to wear the national jersey, when they face Zambia in an Olympic qualifier in Lusaka tomorrow (3pm kick-off).

Deprived through injury of the services of regular centre backs in Amanda Sister and Janine van Wyk, plus national captain and left back defender Nthabeleng Modiko, and midfielders Gabisele Hlumbane and Nocawe Skiti, Mkhonza is expected to give some of the new faces a run in the starting line up against the Zambians.

Robyn Moodley, 16, who represented the SA under-17 team at the FIFA under 17 women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago last year could well be considered for a start on the right side of midfield. Midfielder Mantombi Hadebe, who represents Croesus Ladies FC in the Gauteng Sasol League competition, is also expected to get some game time which will allow her to join┬áHigh Performance Centre (Tshwane)-based Moodley in making her Banyana Banyana debut during the match.

Sibongiseni Khamlana, who plays for Cape Town Roses in the Sasol League in the Western Cape, could get the nod to join the experienced Simphiwe Dludlu in the centre of the defence.

While Hadebe’s club-mate, goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni will be looking to keep a clean sheet after keeping Zimbabwe at bay during a 3-0 win for Banyana Banyana in an international friendly before Christmas, the coaching staff are sure to look to players such as stand-in captain Amanda Dlamini, 2009 CAF African Women’s Player of the Year Noko Matlou, Mamello Makhabane will lead the way in the goals department for the visitors.

The mood in the SA camp is high and the national team will want to come away from Lusaka with a positive result that will give them the advantage when they host the Zambians in the return leg in Umlazi, near Durban on January 29.