Banyana without key trio
Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Banyana Banyana will be without the services of all three of their internationally based players - Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Kylie-Ann Louw and Roxanne Barker - for the 12-nation Cyprus Women's Cup football tournament next month.
Head coach Joseph Mkhonza confirmed on Wednesday that Nyandeni had pulled out of the squad due to club commitments as her Russian side, Rossiyanka, were preparing to take part in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League.
Louw and Barker, who play their club football in the United States, would not be joining the national squad due to study commitments.
While Mkhonza was facing a tough time in selecting his 22-player squad to compete in the tournament, he said he would also use the current training camp at North West University to look at younger players and groom a squad to compete in the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
"I want to use the Cyprus Women's Cup to bring in new players and prepare the country for future tournaments," Mkhonza said.
"The 22 players I will select will form the core of the Banyana Banyana squad that will take part in the World Cup, the Olympics as well as the African Women's Championship next year.
"Those that will not form part of the trip to Cyprus must not lose hope as my bigger aim is to create a bigger pool of this Banyana squad. That will put the team in good stead in case of injuries and suspensions."
The SA women will square up against South Korea, Ireland and Northern Ireland in Group C at the Cyprus Women's Cup.
England, Italy, New Zealand and Scotland will play in Group A, while Group B will be contested by Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and Switzerland.