No friendlies at this level, Banyana coach

Johannesburg - Banyana Banyana will come with their guns blazing a friendly match against Zimbabwe, coach August Makalakalane has said, adding that his side was taking every game seriously as it prepares for qualifiers for the 2012 Olympics.

Players take to the field to try and win every game, and while we will learn many lessons which will stand us in good stead ahead of next years Olympic qualifying campaign, a win in our final match of 2010, will be the perfect way to finish off what has been a hectic 2010 year of womens football, Makalakalane said in an interview in Johannesburg last Thursday.

South Africas senior womens national team will play their Zimbabwean counterparts in Harare on December 22, a holiday to celebrate Unity Day in Zimbabwe, as part of their preparations for a 2011 campaign that includes key London Olympics qualifying fixtures.

After the trip to Zimbabwe, Banyana Banyana will travel to play Zambia in the away leg of the Olympic qualifiers in mid-January before hosting the Zambians in Durban in the return match on January 29, so there is not a lot of time for conditioning over the next few weeks, hence our call for the players to be responsible and to keep training hard during the break, said Makalakalane.

Zimbabwe and South Africa have over the years established a longstanding rivalry. In the last meeting between the two, Zimbabwes womens senior tea, nicknamed the Mighty Warriors, succumbed 4-0 to their rivals in Johannesburg in November.

A number of players are likely to pose headaches to the Zimbabweans. These are Russian-based attacking midfielder/striker Nompumelelo Nyandeni who has been included in the national squad after a superb season for Rossiyank and Amanda Dlamini, who plays for the University of Johannesburg club in the Sasol League (Gauteng) competition.

Dlamini will be hoping to continue finding the back of the oppositions goal net, following on from the four goals she scored during the Banyana Banyanas bronze medal performance at the CAF African Women Championship South Africa 2010.

Likewise, CAF African Womens Player of the Year Noko Matlou will be looking to return to goal-scoring form, while defender Janine van Wyk who was named as the Banyana Banyana Player of the Year at the South African Football Association (SAFA ) Awards held a fortnight ago, will be out to show the same sort of confidence and skill that made her a crowd favourite during the CAF event.

Seventeen-year-old Cape Town Roses FC striker, Jermaine Seopesenwe, who was named as the Junior Player at the SAFA Awards, showed maturity well beyond her age during the CAF African Women Championship South Africa 2010.

Banyana Banyana squad:

Goalkeepers: Thoko Mndaweni (Croesus Ladies FC, Gauteng); Yolula Tsawe (Coastal Ladies FC, Eastern Cape)

Defenders: Simphiwe Dludlu (Tuks Sports, Gauteng); Amanda Sister (Liverpool FC, Eastern Cape); Janine van Wyk (Luso Africa, Gauteng); Simphiwe Masina (Detroit Ladies FC, Mpumalanga); Nthabaleng Modiko (University of Johannesburg FC, Gauteng)

Midfielders: Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses FC, Western Cape); Mary Ntsweng (Mphahlele Ladies FC, Limpopo); Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies FC, Free State); Elson Matjila (Detroit Ladies FC, Mpumalanga); Nompumelelo Nyandeni (Rossiyank FC, Russia); Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons FC, Gauteng)

Strikers: Amanda Dlamini (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal); Noko Matlou (Brazilians FC, Limpopo); Leandra Smeda (Ambassadors FC Western Cape); Mamphashe Popela (Flamingos FC, Mpumalanga); Jermaine Seopesenwe (Cape Town Roses FC, Western Cape)

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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