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Cyprus Women's Cup

Thembi Kgatlana tops South Africa squad for Cyprus Women's Cup

2:30 am AEDT 5/2/19
Thembi Kgatlana
The reigning African queen was included in Desiree Ellis’ travelling party for this month's invitational women championship

South Africa have announced their 23-woman squad for the 2019 Cyprus Women's Cup with Thembi Kgatlana and Janine Van Wyk making the cut.

Banyana Banyana are making their seventh appearance at the tournament to be held from February 26 - March 6 and will square up against Finland, Czech Republic and Korea DPR in Group A.

And to ensure a successful outing, Desiree Ellis has named a strong team that boasts of Linda Mothalo, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda and Jermaine Seoposenwe.

The trio of Jessica Williams, Hildah Magaia and Kelso Peskin were excluded from the squad despite their involvement in January friendlies with Sweden and the Netherlands in Cape Town.

“The battle for places in the final squad for the World Cup is becoming tighter and tighter as we get closer to the tournament,” Ellis told Safa website.

"And I have said before that starting with the Cyprus Cup, we will be travelling with only 23 players, which is the number that we will take to France as per regulations.

“But make no mistake, this is by no means the World Cup squad, even though it is very close to what we will select – the tournament kicks off in June and anything can happen.

"So this is a wake-up call to whoever is not in the squad because the door is never closed to anyone until the announcement of the final squad, but also bear in mind that you don’t want to make too many changes so close to the competition unless there is still some exceptional talent out there that we haven’t selected.”

South Africa begin their campaign against Finland on February 27.

FULL SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini [Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies], Kaylin Swart, Victoria Muroa [First Touch Academy]

Defenders: Lebogang Ramamalepe [Ma-Indies], Nothando Vilakazi [Palace Super Falcons], Janine Van Wyk, Noko Matlou [Ma-Indies FC], Bambanani Mbane [Bloenfontein Celtic Ladies], Tiisetso Makhubela [Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies], Koketso Tlailane [TUT-PTA], Karabo Dhlamini [Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies]

Midfielders: Mamello Makhabane [JVW FC], Leandra Smeda [Vittsjo GIK], Nompumelelo Nyandeni [JVW FC], Busisiwe Ndimeni [TUT-PTA], Linda Motlhalo [Houston Dash], Refiloe Jane [Canberra United], Molatelo Sebata [First Touch Academy], Kholosa Biyana [University of KwaZulu Natal]

Forwards:Jermaine Seoposenwe [JVW FC], Thembi Kgatlana [Houston Dash], Amanda Mthandi [University of Johannesburg], Rhoda Mulaudzi [Canberra United]