Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has announced a squad of 21 players to represent South Africa at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations 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 – the top three nations in Ghana will represent the continent at the World Cup in France in June.
Ellis has selected the bulk of the squad that has been with Banyana Banyana for a long period of time.
The squad also shows a lot of experience with most of the players having taken part in the Women’s AFCON tournament before.
Ellis has also called up two uncapped players – Amanda Mthandi (University of Johannesburg) and Tiisetso Makhubela (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies).
“It was a difficult task to pin down the final 21 players as they all raised their hands to show how much they want to be part of this magnificent team. But I am confident that the players we have chosen will do the business for South Africa.
Too many times we have close to winning the tournament and I think with the preparations we have had, we feel ready for the competition,” said Ellis.
The former Banyana Banyana captain has also selected four players to be on stand-by – Kholosa Biyana, Rachel Sebati, Thato Letsoso and Hilda Magaia.
The quartet will travel with the squad to Ghana and return to South Africa after the international friendly match that will be played in Accra on Sunday, 11 November.
Banyana Banyana have been drawn in Group B against defending champions Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia.
South Africa will open her account with a clash against the Super Falcons on 18 November, followed by an encounter against Kenya three days later (21 November). Both matches will be played at Cape Coast.
For the final match, Ellis and her charges will travel to the capital Accra to face Zambia on 24 November.
South Africa will be making their 12th appearance at the tournament.
The squad has been in camp since Sunday, 21 October, and will travel to Ghana on Friday, 9 November.