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Stars back for Banyana
- Updated: March 31, 2011
Banyana Banyana are boosted by the return of foreign-based midfielders Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Kylie Ann Louw, plus back-from-injury central defender Janine van Wyk, for Saturday’s Olympic Qualifier soccer match against Tunisia at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, Durban.
The South Africans will have fond memories of the stadium, having beaten Zambia by three goals to one (3-0) there in January this year, and will be hoping that their strikers will again find the target in order to take a healthy goal advantage to the return leg in Tunisia on April 17.
Banyana Banyana caretaker coach Joseph Mkhonza and his technical team put the 24-member squad through intensive training in Durban this week, and have trimmed the group to 18 players for Saturday’s key 3pm encounter.
Apart from the return of experienced midfielders in Russian-based Nyandeni and Texas, USA-based Louw, and the inclusion of Van Wyk who both missed Banyana Banyana’s 2-1 win over Namibia in an international friendly in Upington, caretaker coach Joseph Mkhonza is expected to look to strikers in Noko Matlou and captain, Durban-born Amanda Dlamini to pressurise the Tunisian defence.
Also back in the squad is teenage midfield sensation Jermaine Seopesenwe, who missed the last match due to school exams. Seopesenwe, who plays for Sasol League Western Cape log-leaders Cape Town Roses, adds a great element of speed to the Banyana Banyana attacking formation.
Mkhonza has also given first-time-on-the Banyana Banyana-bench opportunities to Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper Andile Dlamini and Durban Ladies midfielder Memory Makhanya. The national squad has a strong KwaZulu Natal flavour with defender Makhanya’s club-mate, Zama Cele returning to the squad list.
With a 100 percent winning record in his four matches since taking charge of Banyana Banyana, Mkhonza said: ÔÇ£The King Zwelithini Stadium is a super place to play football, and our thanks must go to our team sponsor Sasol, as well as the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government who have allowed┬á this match to take place here in Durban, and Sport and Recreation SA, who assist in funding Banyana Banyana’s training camps. We would also like to say thank you to SAFA for all the support.
“The spirit in the camp is high and I hope that the people come out in great numbers to cheer the team on, like they did when we beat Zambia here in January.ÔÇØ
The Banyana Banyana squad for Saturday:
Thoko Mndaweni — Croesus Ladies (Gauteng)
Andile Dlamini — Sundowns Ladies FC (Gauteng)
Janine van Wyk — Palace Super Falcons (Gauteng)
Nothando Vilakazi — Palace Super Falcons (Gauteng)
Yola Jafta — University of Johannesburg (Gauteng)
Amanda Sister — Liverpool Ladies FC (Eastern Cape)
Simphiwe Masina — Detroit Ladies FC (Mpumalanga)
Robyn Moodaly — Dlalantombazana FC (Gauteng)
Nomathemba Nsibande — Springs Homesweepers (Gauteng)
Nompumelelo Nyandeni — Rossiyank FC (Russia)
Kylie Ann Louw — Stephen Austin University (Texas, USA)
Amanda Dlamini — University of Johannesburg (Gauteng)
Noko Matlou — Brazilians FC (Limpopo)
Zama Cele — Durban Ladies (KwaZulu Natal)
Jermaine Seopesenwe — Santos FC (Western Cape)
Nocawe Skiti — Cape Town Roses (Western Cape)
Memory Makhanya — Durban Ladies (KwaZulu Natal)
Gabisile Hlumbane — Kovsies FC (Free State)