By FOCUS REPORTER
Inspirational central defender Janine van Wyk and midfield star Gabisile Hlumbane are off the injury list and back in the 25-strong Banyana Banyana squad, along with 7 new call-ups, to prepare for next Saturday’s Olympic qualifier return leg fixture against Zambia in Durban.
The Olympic qualifier is expected to be played in a carnival atmosphere at the 18 000 capacity King Zwelithini stadium in Umlazi as Banyana Banyana look to advance to the next round taking a step closer to being one of two African teams that will participate at the 2012 London Olympics.
Van Wyk, who plays her club football for Sasol League National Champions Palace Super Falcons, and Kovsies FC’s Hlumbane, will report to the national training camp in KwaZulu Natal on Saturday, a boost to the Banyana Banyana who will be looking to enhance on their 2-1 win over the Zambians in the first leg encounter played in Lusaka last weekend.
Additions to the national squad are goalkeeper Mandy d’Aurujo (Tuks Sport, Gauteng), striker Martha Mahlangu (Brazilians, Limpopo), central midfielder Nomawethu Nyusani (Coastal Ladies, Eastern Cape), Zama Cele (Real City, KwaZulu Natal), defender Mantombi Jinqi (University of the Western Cape) and midfielder Nomathemba Nsibande (Springs Homesweepers, Gauteng).
Nsibande’s call up follows a good showing during player trials at the Sasol League Road Show held in Randfontein last December while Nsibande has previously represented the Banyana Banyana.
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza said that the squad will be trimmed to 18 players for the Zambian match, with the names to be announced next Thursday.
“The Banyana Banyana players showed great character to get the win while playing on heavy underfoot conditions in Lusaka last weekend,” said Mkhonza.
“Taking on the Zambians without six of our regular players was not easy but those who played in Lusaka performed admirably which now increases the depth and experience of the Banyana Banyana squad. Having Van Wyk and Hlumbane back in training is great news as they both add immense value in key positions in the team.”
Banyana Banyana national squad for the training camp in Durban:
Thoko Mndaweni Croesus Ladies FC (Gauteng)
Yolula Tsawe Coastal Ladies FC (Eastern Cape)
Mandy D’Aurujo Tuks Sport FC (Gauteng)
Simphiwe Dludlu Tuks Sport FC (Gauteng)
Nothando Vilakazi Moroka Swallows Ladies (Gauteng)
Simphiwe Masina Detroit Ladies (Mpumalanga)
Sibongoniseni Khamlala Cape Town Roses FC (Western Cape)
Janine van Wyk Palace Super Falcons FC (Gauteng)
Martha Mahlangu Brazilians FC (Limpopo)
Zama Cele Real City FC (KwaZulu Natal)
Mantombi Jingqi University of the Western Cape (Western Cape)
Elson Matjila Detroit Ladies FC (Mpumalanga)
Robyn Moodaly High Performance Centre (Tshwane)
Mantombi Hadebe Croesus Ladies FC (Gauteng)
Mamello Makhabane Palace Super Falcons FC (Gauteng)
Nompumelelo Nyandeni Rossivank FC (Russia)
Gabisile Hlumbane Kovsies FC (Free State)
Nomawethu Nyusani Coastal Ladies FC (Eastern Cape)
Nomathemba Nsibande Springs Homesweepers (Gauteng)
Amanda Dlamini University of Johannesburg FC (Gauteng)
Noko Matlou Brazilian Ladies FC (Limpopo)
Leandra Smeda Ambassadors FC (Western Cape)
Mamphashe Popela Flamingo FC (Mpumalanga)
Jermaine Seopesenwe Santos FC (Western Cape)
Martha Mokoma Palace Super Falcons FC (Gauteng)