Coach Simphiwe Dludlu has announced her 20-player squad to represent South Africa at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from November 4-14.
Dludlu, who is going to her second COSAFA championship in charge of Bantwana, is confident of an improved display on home turf to make up for the 2019 edition in Mauritius, where they lost to East African guest nation Uganda in the title decider.
The squad includes a number of familiar faces in the form of ‘veterans’ Jessica Wade, Nduli Yolanda and Nkhuna Nkateko, who were part of coach Dludlu’s team that represented South Africa at the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay.
After their practice match against the senior national women’s team coach, which they lost 1-0, Dludlu was full of praise of her players on how they coped with the game pressure.
“When you go to COSAFA you find players that are bigger and stronger, and our practice game against Banyana Banyana gave us that resistance. We wanted to see how they behave and analyse their mental strength. We still have some work to do but I am happy with my squad selection.”
South Africa will open their COSAFA championship campaign against Zambia on Nov. 4, before taking on Zimbabwe two days later and then Tanzania on Nov. 8 and will conclude their group stage against Comoros on Nov. 12.
South Africa squad:
Goalkeepers: Karabo Mohale, Manana Myeki
Defenders: Mihle Lumko, Hlela Philisani, Nkateko Nkhuna, Shannon Macomo, Thimna Mphele, Flora Khosa, Yolanda Nduli
Midfielders: Jessica Wade, Janica Andrews, Nabeelah Galant, Aliyaah Allie, Lithemba Sam Sam, Cimone Sauls
Strikers: Oyisa Marhasi, Kananelo Taiwe, Jade Leask, Ronnel Donnelly, Tyler Scott
Coach: Simphiwe Dludlu