After about two months of rest, the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifiers make a return this weekend with first legs of third round matches taking centre stage in four countries.
In that regard, the South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) continued their preparations on Tuesday at Nike Centre in Soweto, ahead of their clash against Harambe Starlets of Kenya coming up on Saturday, 18 July at Dobsonville Stadium, Soweto.
Banyana Banyana will on Wednesday 15 July train at the Dobsonville Stadium to get a feel of the turf before match day.
The return leg will be played at the Machakos Stadium in Kenya in the first week of August.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have their eyes on a second Olympic appearance – having qualified for London 2012 alongside Cameroon – and got their Rio campaign off to a flying start earlier this year at the expense of Gabon.
Vera Pauw and her girls converged in Johannesburg on Sunday with a few changes made to the squad that dealt a 5-0 defeat to Gabon in the second leg of the second round. The first leg away from home had ended 3-2 in their favour.
In the absence of overseas-based players, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Roxanne Barker, young goalkeeper, Mapaseka Mpuru from the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre, midfielder Stephanie Malherbe and striker Bongiwe Thusi from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, all receive their first call-up to the senior national team.
Banyana Banyana players to face Kenya
Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns FC, Johannesburg), Mapaseka Mpuru (High Performance Centre, Pretoria), Gopolang Mputle (Palace Super Falcons, Johannesburg)
Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe (Maindis FC, Polokwane), Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons FC, Johannesburg), Janine Van Wyk (JVW FC , Johannesburg), Noko Matlou (Maindis FC, Polokwane), Lerato Kgasago (Mamelodi Sundowns FC, Johannesburg), Nomathemba Ntsibande (Springs Home Sweepers, Johannesburg), Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies FC, Pietermaritzburg)
Midfielders: Alochia Thobokela (Mamelodi Sundowns, Johannesburg), Amanda Dlamini (University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg), Silindile Ngubane (Durban Ladies FC, Pietermaritzburg), Refiloe Jane (VUT Ladies, Vaal), Leandra Smeda (UWC Ladies, Cape Town), Nompumelelo Nyandeni (JVW FC, Johannesburg), Stephanie Malherbe (A & M Texas, USA)
Strikers: Bongiwe Thusi (Mamelodi Sundowns, Johannesburg, Sanah Mollo (Mamelodi Sundowns FC, Johannesburg), Shiwe Nogwanya (Bloemfontein Celtic, Bloemfontein), Thembi Kgatlana (UWC Ladies, Cape Town), Rhoda Mulaudzi (Mamelodi Sundowns FC, Johannesburg), Kelso Peskin (Tyler Junior, College USA).