Banyana start the year with a busy schedule

Interim head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, says the year 2018 is a defining one for her side.

The first assignment for the South African Senior Women’s National is a clash against Sweden, one of the top footballing nations. They are ranked 10th in the world and fifth in Europe.

Ellis has named a squad of 26 players – with midfielder Xolisile Mnikathi of Sunflower FC in KwaZulu Natal called up to replace former Banyana Banyana captain, Amanda Dlamini, who withdrew from the squad after she retired from international football on Tuesday, 9 January.

Banyana Banyana, who are Africa’s Women’s National Team of the Year and COSAFA Champions, will face Sweden in a practice match behind closed doors on Thursday, 18 January.

This will be followed three days later by an international friendly (Sunday, 21 January 2017) at the Cape Town Stadium.

Kickoff is at 14h00.

The South Africans assemble in Cape Town on Sunday, 14 January to commence preparations for the two encounters.

Banyana have been invited to participate in the 11th edition of the Cyprus Women’s Cup, that takes place annually in Cyprus.

The tournament runs from 26 February to 7 March 2018, and involves 12 women’s national teams from around the world.

The matches are played in the cities of Nicosia, Paralimni and Larnaca – using six venues.

The competition has been held since 2008, and Switzerland are the current champions.

South Africa is no stranger to this tournament and will be making their sixth appearance – they were there in 2009 (6th position finish), 2010 (8th), 2012 (10th), 2013 (11th) and 2015 (10th).

For the 2018 edition, Banyana Banyana have been drawn in Group C alongside Hungary, Slovakia as well as Trinidad and Tobago.

In Group A, there Finland, Switzerland, Italy and Wales, while Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic and Spain are in Group B.

South Africa will face Slovakia in their opening match to be played on Wednesday, 28 February.

Kickoff is at 13h00.

The next match will see Banyana Banyana taking on Hungary on Friday, 2 March at 18h00.

In the last group stage clash, South Africa will lock horns with Trinidad & Tobago on Monday, 5 March at 13h00.

-SAFA Press Release
(Photo credit –