Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, has named a 24-member squad for the back-to-back CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Burkina Faso.
The squad is a mixture of youth and experience with former captain, Janine Van Wyk, included again and in line to equal the record of the most capped player on the African continent.
Ellis emphasized the significance of performing well against Burkina Faso, as it is crucial for Banyana Banyana to secure qualification for the tournament and to have the opportunity to defend their title.
The trio of Banyana’s attacking players Thembi Kgatlana, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Hilda Magaia have all been included in the squad.
The Scotland-based midfielder, Linda Motlhalo, also made the squad with Refiloe Jane not included as she’s only started playing again after suffering an injury during the World Cup.
The inclusion of veteran defender, Janine Van Wyk, has raised eyebrows. She was also in the last camp but wasn’t capped, much to her disappointment.
The veteran defender would have earned her 184th cap and equaled the record of most capped player male or female on the African continent.
“We will do our utmost best to get her those two caps it’s not just a record for her but I think it’s a record for women’s football and she was in the last camp I was asked if there will be another chance here is the chance,” says Ellis.
Banyana Banyana will play the first leg against Burkina Faso next Thursday. The South Africans will then host Burkina Faso at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on December 4th, for the second leg with tickets for the match on sale.
“It’s not just any match as I said it’s the final qualifier for Wafcon and as I said before we are the defending champions and if we don’t win this game we won’t be at the tournament so we have to make sure that we do well especially in the first game to take the pressure off of playing at home,” Ellis adds.
The squad will assemble in Johannesburg on Sunday before departing for the West African country.