South Africa have confirmed Janine Van Wyk has been ruled out of the Fifa 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand following an injury suffered before the tournament.
While veteran defender Van Wyk was the notable omission from the 36-woman provisional squad, 37-year-old 2008 African Women’s Player of the Year winner Noko Matlou, as well as 16-year-old JVW FC midfielder Robyn Moodaly, were the surprise inclusions on the provisional list.
South Africa coach Desiree Ellis admitted she will face a huge task to whittle the squad down to the final 23 players.
“It’s most probably one of the most difficult selections I’ve ever had to make,” Ellis said adding: “As a coach, you always say players must raise their hand and make it difficult. And it has been very difficult [selecting the preliminary squad]. Congratulations to the players that have made the preliminary squad.”
Banyana Banyana will start their campaign on the global stage against Sweden in Wellington, New Zealand on July 23 before squaring up against Argentina three days later and later Italy on August 2, 2023.
South Africa squad; Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini, Kaylin Swart, Regirl Ngobeni, Kebotseng Moletsane, Asa Rabalao.
Defenders: Asanda Hadebe Karabo Dhlamini Cimone Sauls Lebohang Ramalepe Tiisetso Makhubela Lonathemba Mhlongo Bambanani Mbane Bongeka Gamede.
Midfielders: Thubelihle Shamase, Kholosa Biyana, Thalea Smidt, Refiloe Jane, Sibulele Holweni, Linda Motlhalo, Nomvula Kgoale, Robyn Moodaly, Amogelang Motau.
Forwards: Nicole Michael, Gabriela Salgado, Sphumelele Shamase, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Noxolo Cesane, Melinda Kgadiete, Nthabiseng Majiya, Lelona Daweti, Wendy Shongwe, Ntombifikile Ndlovu Hildah Magaia, Thembi Kgatlana.