Pauw names Banyana squad for AWC

Banyana have been drawn in the 'Group of Death' with Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana. They face Cameroon in their opening match on 12 October at the Independence Stadium.

Banyana started their preparations for Namibia immediately after beating the Union of Comoros 13–0 in their qualifying match.

Pauw initially had 31 players but had to trim the squad to 21 players as per the CAF rules.

Goalkeeper Roxanne Barker is the only overseas-based player included in the squad, while the rest of the players all play for Sasol league teams in different provinces.

“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.

“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,” Pauw added.

Pauw and her charges 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 dI’voire.

Banyana squad:

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thokozile Mndaweni (Croesus FC), Roxanne Barker (Por KA).

Defenders: Noko Matlou (Ma-Indies FC), Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons), Janine Van Wyk (JVW FC), Nomathemba Ntsibande (Springs Home Sweepers), Simphiwe Dludlu (TUKS Ladies FC), Lebogang Ramalepe (Ma-Indies FC), Gloria Thato (University of Pretoria).

Midfielders: Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg), Sanah Mollo (Mamelodi Sundowns FC), Leandra Smeda (UWC Ladies), Refiloe Jane (VUT Ladies), Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons), Mpumi Nyandeni (JVW FC).

Strikers: Shiwe Nongwanya (Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies), Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies FC), Ode Fulutudilu (Spurs FC), Thembi Kgatlana (TUT), Portia Modise (Croesus FC).