Six Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies – Andile Dlamini, Karabo Dhlamini, Tiisetso Makhubela, Bambanani Mbane, Melinda Kgadiete and Lelona Daweti – are among a strong squad of 32 players that have been selected by Coach Desiree Ellis as Banyana Banyana prepares to face Serbia in an away friendly international next month.
The match is part of the SASOL-sponsored South African senior women’s national team’s preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August 2023.
The game against Serbia serves as a high-profile preparation match for Coach Desiree Ellis’s side, who will be heading down under as African Champions.
Karabo Dhlamini, who is notable for her versatility, speaks about how playing for Sundowns Ladies has improved her understanding of the game ahead of linking up with her national teammates.
“Playing for a club like Sundowns Ladies is a wonderful experience because the level of expectations is high. The winning mentality enjoyed in the dressing room always comes in handy when one is preparing for international commitments. The high level of analysis and attention to detail before and after every game has shaped me into a better footballer and I cannot wait to contribute what I have learned at the club on the international stage”, the defender stated.
Banyana Ba Style has dominantly begun the Hollywoodbets Super League, registering five wins and one draw and sitting on top of the table with 16 points. Bambanani Mbane believes the competitive nature of the league since the season began bodes well for match readiness.
“The Hollywoodbets Super League is essential in keeping us fit and ready for the national team. This season, the competition level has been exceptionally high, which has been immensely helpful in preparing us for the international stage. Moreover, playing for a club like Mamelodi Sundowns provides us with valuable exposure and experience since we regularly participate in top-level tournaments organized by COSAFA and CAF. However, being named in the preliminary list is just the first step, so I need to work even harder to secure my place in the final squad,” said Bambanani.
On the lessons learned at Sundowns Ladies which can be beneficial to the national team, Melinda Kgadiete says, “I have learned the importance of playing for the team at Sundowns Ladies, as football is a team sport. The club has taught me how to play for my teammates and how to be professional both on and off the pitch. In addition, I have learned the significance of discipline and hard work. At Sundowns Ladies, we follow a strict training regimen and have a culture of accountability, which has helped me develop a strong work ethic. Being part of a team with talented and experienced players has also enabled me to learn from their skills and knowledge, and I am constantly striving to improve myself as a player.”
Banyana Banyana is expected to depart for Serbia on 6 April 2023 and then face the Serbians on 10 April 2023.
We are wishing our Brazilians and the entire National team a successful outing against the Serbians!!!