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UWC Rising Football Stars Selected for Banyana Banyana

Author: Myolisi Gophe

Three University of the Western Cape women footballers have been called-up to a training camp of Banyana Banyana as the team is preparing for the upcoming COSAFA Cup next month.

(Published - 16 October 2020)

UWC’s contribution to the national women football set-up took another positive turn yesterday when five current and former stars were named in the Banyana Banyana provisional squad for the COSAFA Cup.

Goalkeeper Kaydee Windwogel, defender Bongeka Gamede and midfielder Sibulele Holweni were named in the 27-member team that will prepare for the senior national women team’s first return to action since football activities were halted due to the coronavirus outbreak earlier in the year. They were named along former goalkeeper Kylin Swart, who is not attached to any team, and former UWC Ladies FC midfielder Nomvula Kgoale, who is currently in the books of Tshwane University of Technology.

The 2020 COSAFA Cup tournament was scheduled to take place in August but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak that affected all events in the football calendar. It is now set to take place from 3-14 November in Nelson Mandela Bay after the South African government announced Level 1 regulations in which all sporting activities are permitted, on condition that all safety measures are adhered to to prevent the spread of the virus.

UWC coach, Thinasonke Mbuli, who is also the assistant coach of Banyana Banyana, congratulated the three members of her teams and said their selection “shows that there is something we are doing right as the UWC team”.

The coach noted that Windwogel’s first call-up to the senior national team is “a graduation to another level” as she has done very well in different national teams and is currently the number one goalkeeper for the Under 20 national team. She said Gamede has also done well and her game is ever growing, having won a number of awards and formed part of the Banyana team which played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France last year. The coach heaped similar praises on Holweni, the current captain of the Under 20 national team who, like Windwogel, has also done well for the national Under 17 side.

In announcing the full squad, Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis, said: “We last got together in March, so we will get an opportunity to look at players and give others an opportunity as well. The camp will also allow us to analyse which players raise their hands for the final selection.’’

She said for her team to be the number one on the African continent, regional tournaments were the starting point. As a result, she has called up a number of players with experience as well as young and promising stars.

The team is scheduled to assemble in Johannesburg on 20 October and the camp will run until 26 October. The final squad will then depart for Port Elizabeth on 27 October to begin preparations for the tournament, which Banyana Banyana has won on the last three occasions.

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