Banyana Banyana head coach, Vera Pauw, has named her 21 women squad that is due to travel to Namibia for the 2014 CAF African Women’s Championships (AWC).
Pauw's charges have been drawn alongside West African giants, Cameroon and Ghana with North Africans Algeria completing the Group in what has been dubbed as the 'Group of Death'.
Banyana will square-off against Cameroon in their opening match of Group A on Sunday, October 12, at Windhoek's Independence Stadium.
The South African squad is mainly comprised of players who are all plying their trade for Sasol league teams in the different provinces, with goalkeeper Roxanne Barker being the only overseas-based player.
Vera Pauw started preparations with 31 players and had to trim the squad to 21 players as per the CAF rules.
The Dutch coach alluded that cutting her squad ahead of the tournament was the hardest part of her job as all the players had shown great commitment.
“This is the worst part of my job as head coach; having to release players in such a great group was not an easy task. This was the most difficult moment of my career,” said Pauw in an official release from the South African Football Association.
“The players which have been released from the team have asked to remain and train with the rest of the team, and that for me showed great team spirit. This shows that there is something special about these players, and I hope we will be able to display that in Namibia,” she concluded.
Banyana Banyana have been holding training camps for the past four months. Since qualifying for the AWC, they have played eight international friendly matches, winning seven and playing to a goalless draw against Zimbabwe.
They beat neighbours Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Cote d I’voire.
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Thokozile Mndaweni Croesus FC Sasol League - Gauteng
Roxanne Barker Por KA Iceland
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Gloria Thato University of Pretoria Sasol League - Gauteng
Amanda Dlamini Unv of Johannesburg Sasol League – Gauteng
Sanah Mollo Mamelodi Sundowns FC Sasol League – Gauteng
Leandra Smeda UWC Ladies Sasol League – W Cape
Refiloe Jane VUT Ladies Sasol League – Gauteng
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