Banyana start training camp
Johannesburg - Overseas-based Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Kylie-Ann Louw and Roxanne Barker will join the rest of the national women's side on Wednesday when they begin their nine day training camp in Potchefstroom.
The experienced trio and youngsters Andile Dlamini, Robyn Moodaly and Lebohang Mabatle are part of an initial 24-member squad, from which 18 players will be chosen to travel to Tanzania in an international friendly match in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, May 20.
The same amount of players will make the trip to Lusaka for another match six days later (Saturday, May 26) to face Zambia in an African Women Championship first leg qualifier.
Nyandeni, who plays for Russian club Rossiyank FC, missed out on the action in the Cyprus Women' Cup earlier this year due to a knee injury.
But the midfielder, with 92 caps and 27 goals to her name, will be looking to show that she has recovered well and is ready to challenge for a place among the 18 players to represent South Africa at the London Olympics.
Texas-based Louw will also make the trip back to the Rainbow Nation for the national camp, along with another USA-based player in goalkeeper Barker.
While Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza will be keen to analyse the form of his overseas-based players, he is equally happy to have some of the younger players back in camp after they did duty for the South African Under-20 women's team.
Defender Mabatle (1 cap), midfielder Moodaly (10 caps and 1 goal) and goalkeeper Dlamini (2 caps) will also be out to prove that they can add major value to the national team.
Moodaly was a key member of the Banyana team that saw off Zambia, Tunisia and Ethiopia en route to Olympic qualification last year, while Dlamini would have done her chances the world of good by putting in a super performance for her Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies side in the Sasol League Gauteng Road Show held in Soweto almost two weeks ago.
"In order to send the best players to the Olympics, we have kept the selection process going for as long as possible to make sure we don't overlook any talent," said Mkhonza.
"I am happy to welcome back our overseas-based players and the national under 20 side players so we can assess their form as we enter this crucial phase in the build-up to the Olympics."
Banyana Banyana squad for the national training camp in Potchefstroom on May 9:
Goalkeepers: Thoko Mndaweni (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Roxanne Barker (Pepperdine University, USA) Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng)
Defenders: Lebohang Mabatle (Hallelujah Zebra Force, Gauteng) Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies, Eastern Cape) Janine van Wyk (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies, Free State) Refiloe Jane (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng).
Midfielders: Nompumelelo Nyandeni (Rossiyank FC, Russia) Kylie Ann Louw (Stephen Austin University, Texas, USA) Yola Jafta (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Mamello Makhabane (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Mary Ntsweng (TUT, Gauteng) Leah Sethunya (Maluti Ladies, Free State) Nondyebo Mgudu (Durban Ladies, KwaZulu Natal) Robyn Moodaly (HPC).
Strikers: Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcons, Gauteng) Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Noko Matlou (University of Johannesburg, Gauteng) Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtics, Free State) Andiswe Mgcoyi (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Gauteng) Leandra Smeda (Cape Town Roses, Western Cape).