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Mamello Makhabane Available For Banyana

JVW Girls and Banyana Banyana midfielder Mamello Makhabane should be available for the national senior women’s team camp this week. Lethabo Kganyago reports.

This is according to JVW coach Ciara Picco. Makhabane was named in Desiree Ellis’s squad to face the Netherlands in an international friendly next month though the player had been sidelined with injury.

Makhabane was called up along with her three club teammates goalkeeper Kaylin Swart, midfielders Robyn Moodaly and Gabriela Salgado. The 105 capped Makhabane got injured in the Hollywoodbets Super League match against University of Western Cape (UWC) and needed surgery on her wrist in May. Picco says there is only one sign off left from Makhabane’s surgeons this week and she should be able to join the Banyana Banyana.

“I do believe she will be able to travel, she actually has her final sign off this week. So she has been training and training with the team as well so I am quite confident in her progress and how she is feeling as well. The report back from the players also was very good so one final sign off from her surgeons and she should be able to travel with Banyana,” Picco told IDiski Times. 

Banyana will assemble for camp on Monday 21 June and are expected to fly out on 29 June while the match is on the 3rd of July in Zwolle.  

The match in Europe is the first one the coach has been able to call on the majority of her overseas based players since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Ellis clinched the 2020 COSAFA Cup with locally based players and relied on them in the friendlies against Zambia and Botswana earlier this year. One those players JVW’s Gabriela Salgado says she always feels honoured to don national colours and is intentional about being a regular in the squad.

“In the past I have been in and out (of the team) but now I want to and I intend to stay in the team and work hard and show the coach that I deserve to be there and I’m going to fight, no one is just going to walk in and kick me out I’m going work hard and I’m going to do my best. I’m always going to be better for the nation I want to be better for the nation I want to score goals for the nation I want to win for our country,” expressed the player. 

Salgado is not intimidated by the presence of overseas based players saying everyone is equal when they get into camp adding that the coach also selects those who work hard. Salgado also admits the experience the overseas based group brings to the team is always valuable.

“Having them come with their experience yes it does benefit us 100% and us being in this league as well keeping us fit, each and every weekend we are playing games, each and every weekend we play at high intensity. So when we all join together and click together its actually phenomenal, with everyone on the same field, the same level and fighting for our country is the best feeling ever,” said Salgado. 

The match against Netherlands is part of the preparations for the African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifiers later this year. Salgado is confident Banyana will match their opponents while warning them against taking Banyana lightly. 

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