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Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has named a preliminary 36-member squad for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The tournament is taking place in Australia and New Zealand from 20 July until 20 August 2023. 

Banyana are due to go for a camp in Johannesburg on 12 June. Players will get a chance to impress Ellis before the final list for the global tournament is announced later this month.

Ellis told www.safa.net that selecting the preliminary squad was one of the most difficult tasks she has ever had to do as coach of the national team. 

“It’s most probably one of the most difficult selections I’ve ever had to make. As a coach you always say players must raise their hand and make it difficult,” she said.

DIFFICULT TASK FOR DESIREE SELECTING 36 PLAYERS

“It has been very difficult [selecting the preliminary squad]. Congratulations to the players that have made the preliminary squad.

“We are always saying players must raise their hands, and many of them have raised the hands. But this is the group of players that we think we can select from, and they have raised their hands,” she explained. 

“We are going to do a final selection as well as announce the final 23 plus three. That is even going to be more difficult. But this is the group of players that we think will do the job for us.”

Banyana’s highest capped player, Janine van Wyk has been withdrawn from the list due to injury.

van Wyk thanked coach Desiree Ellis for considering her and confirmed that she sustained an injury.  

“I have sustained an injury that I personally feel would impact my chances of performing at the highest level that is required to make the World Cup squad. I have to turn down the call-up with a heavy heart, but also knowing that I am doing what is best for the team,” she said.

BANYANA BANYANA PRELIMINARY WORLD CUP SQUAD: 

Desiree Ellis names Banyana Banyana preliminary Women’s World Cup squad
Banyana Banyana preliminary Women’s World Cup squad
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