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Banyana coach Ellis excited to welcome back streetwise Seoposenwe for Awcon

20 June 2022 - 17:28 By SITHEMBISO DINDI
Goleboane Selebatso of Botswana challenges Jermaine Seoposenwe of SA during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Women's Qualifier match in 2019 in Johannesburg.
Goleboane Selebatso of Botswana challenges Jermaine Seoposenwe of SA during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Women's Qualifier match in 2019 in Johannesburg.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is thrilled to have the streetwise Jermaine Seoposenwe back as SA put the final touches to their mission to conquer the African continent and qualify for the 2023 Fifa Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Ellis named the Portuguese-based forward in her final 23-women squad for the African Women's Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Morocco.

The tournament will be held in two cities, Casablanca and Rabat, from July 2, with the final set for July 23.

Ellis named a strong squad made up of experienced players, overseas-based stars and talented youngsters.

Seoposenwe, 28, who plays for SC Braga in Portugal, has not featured in the national team for the past two years with media reports suggesting she snubbed Banyana to focus on her club career.

However, it looks like the star has recommitted herself and will be hoping Ellis and Banyana win the tournament for the first time in history.

“I’ve been in contact with Jermaine since last year. She came for the Netherlands game [in January] and, unfortunately, it was cancelled when we had all those positive Covid-19 cases.

“She couldn’t come to the Aisha Buhari Invitational Cup [in Nigeria, which SA won last year] and we all know the reasons why she couldn’t travel — her documents were not in order.

“We were under the impression that she could play in Europe and she was not able to do that.”

Ellis said Seoposenwe would be crucial for Banyana, who have been in five Awcon finals, as she is in fine form.

“Jermaine has been on fire at her club. She is scoring goals regularly and creating for others as well. You can see it at training, the winning mentality she has and what she brings, because Jermaine is so versatile.

“She is streetwise, but more than that she brings a lot of quality, a lot of determination and winning mentality and that’s what we need from players such as Jermaine,” Ellis said.

SA are in group C with 11 time winners Nigeria and debutants Burundi and Botswana.

Banyana will play their opening game against Nigeria on Monday July 4.

Banyana Banyana 2022 Awcon Squad

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Sundowns), Kaylin Swart (JVW), Regirl Ngobeni (UWC)

Defenders: Karabo Dhlamini (Sundowns), Lebohang Ramalepe (Dinamo Minsk), Janine Van Wyk (JVW), Bambanani Mbane (Sundowns), Bongeka Gamede (UWC), Noko Matlou (Eibar)

Midfielders: Refiloe Jane (AC Milan), Nomvula Kgoale (Parquesdesol), Linda Motlhalo (Djugardens), Thalea Smidt (Sundowns), Khosona Biyela (Sporting Gijon), Amogelang Motau (UWC), Robin Moodaly (JVW), Sibulele Holweni (UWC)

Forwards: Jermaine Seoposenwe (Braga), Melinda Kgadiete (Sundowns), Xoxola Cesane (Sundowns), Nthabiseng Majiya (Richmond Ladies), Thembi Kgatlana (Atletico Madrid), Hildah Magaia (Sejong Sportstoto)

Standby Players: Kebotseng Moletsane, Tiisetso Makhubela, Thubelihle Shamse

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