The Hollywoodbets Super League is back after a long FIFA Break as we are coming from the Women’s World Cup 2023. The recent Women’s World Cup saw Banyana Banyana doing well and managing to make it to the round of 16.

On Wednesday, 23 August we saw the battle of the students and it was a Pretoria Derby. The University of Pretoria Ladies FC defeated TUT Ladies FC 2-1 at the University of Pretoria Stadium.

ALSO READ: Limpopo Province rejects offer to host Bafana matches

On Saturday, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies FC managed to come back home with three points as they defeated Copperbelt Ladies FC 1-0 in Polokwane. UWC Ladies FC on the other side, won 1-0 beating UJ Ladies FC.

JVW Girls FC defeated Ma-Indies Ladies FC 3-0 and the last game was between TS Galaxy Queens FC against Royal AM Ladies FC. The full-time score was 4-1 in favour of the Rockets. On Sunday, University of Pretoria were visited by an Eastern Cape-based side, City Lads Ladies FC. They didn’t disappoint as they managed to win 5-0.

SUNDOWNS STILL LEAD AS HOLLYWOODBETS SUPER LEAGUE IS BACK

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies FC are still on top of the log with 50 points, followed by UWC Ladies FC with 48 points. UWC Ladies FC still has one game in hand. The Brazilians Ladies played 19 games while UWC Ladies FC played 18 games in the league.

By Banele Hlakanyana

Desiree Ellis and her Banyana Banyana team officially commenced their FIFA Women’s World Cup preparations after the second group landed in New Zealand on Saturday.

The team travelled in two separate groups due to insufficient business class seats on the first flight from South Africa.

ALSO READ: More bonuses for Banyana Banyana players

The first group left South Africa on Wednesday evening, 5 July. The second group left the country on Thursday, 6 July.

The Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions quickly got into the business of things in Wellington. They began with a gym sessions to help with recovery from the jet lag.

Banyana Banyana's second group landed in New Zealand to complete the squad for the Women's World Cup
Banyana players at the Airport

The team will have an official training session on Sunday, 8 July 2023. The focus shifts to their final friendly match against Costa Rica at the Nga Puna Wai Sports Complex in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 15 July.

SOUTH AFRICA IN WOMEN’S WORLD CUP GROUP G

Banyana Banyana will be making their second appearance at the World Cup. They kick off their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign against Sweden on 23 July.

There has been a change in the standby list with youngster Nthabiseng Majiya released from the camp due to an injury. Siphumelele Shamase of UJ FC was called up as a replacement. The standby list players have also travelled to New Zealand).

By Khotso Ramalatswa

Banyana Banyana players will each receive R 230 000 in bonuses on top of the R560 000 FIFA Women’s World Cup participation fee for each player.

This comes after an intervention by the Motsepe Foundation which pledged a R 6 million contribution. The World Cup-bound players caused a standstill on Sunday when they boycotted their send-off match against Botswana scheduled for Tsakane Stadium.

This forced SAFA to quickly set up a makeshift team to honour the fixture and avoid more embarrassment.

ALSO READ: Banyana Banyana players boycott send-off match

Part of the issues was around contracts and finances related to their World Cup participation. The players wanted SAFA to contribute more money on top of what theft received from FIFA.

Following interventions, the players could now each receive an additional R230 000. This could also rise to over R5 million should they go all the way in Australia and New Zealand.

More bonuses for Banyana Banyana players
SAFA, Motsepe Foundation and the Sports Minister

The negotiations between SAFA, SAFPU [representing the players], and the mediation of the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture took place on Tuesday. It lasted close to 12 hours, from 11:00 until after 22:00.

Participating member associations at the World Cup will be getting about R30 million each. This also includes a preparation fee to the tune of over R 20 million.

NO TRAINING DUE TO BONUSES ISSUE

Banyana Banyana have not trained since Saturday due to the dispute. The team will depart in two groups from OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday and Thursday. They will be flying business class to their base in New Zealand via Australia.

They are pitted in Group G alongside 16th-ranked Italy, 28th-ranked Argentina, and third-ranked Sweden, whom they face in their tournament opener on 23 July at 07:00 [SA time].

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

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has named a preliminary 32-member squad to face Serbia in a friendly international match next month.

The clash is part of the team’s preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have a 32-player Banyana Banyana preliminary squad that we have chosen for this upcoming camp. 26 local players will go into camp on the 27th March,” she said.

Also read: Banyana Banyana celebrate Turkish Women’s Cup triumph

“We thank the coaches in the Hollywoodbets Super League as well as the SASOL Women’s League.

Banyana Banyana preliminary squad to face Serbia announced
Banyana Banyana preliminary squad to face Serbia announced

Desiree Ellis upbeat ahead of international friendly

“We thank them for the work that they’ve put in so far and we really appreciate every single player for this local camp. We want to make sure that we push him to the next level,” added Ellis. 

“This is a very big year for women’s football and when the final 23-player traveling party to the FIFA Women’s World Cup is announced. We want to make sure that when we meet up with the other players that we’ve pushed them to a different level.

“This is all part of our preparation towards the World Cup. And as we said, we start now with what we plan to do at the World Cup. So far the players have responded fantastically in the last camp (in Turkey). We hope we can take it to the next level in the camp.” 

The team will depart for Serbia on 6 April 2023 and then face the Serbians on 10 April.

Banyana Banyana Preliminary squad:

Goalkeepers: 

 ANDILE DLAMINI, KAYLIN SWART, REGIRL NGOBENI, KATLEGO MOLETSANE, DINEO MAGAGULA.

Defenders: 

ASANDA HADEBE, KARABO DHLAMINI, FIKILE MAGAMA, TIISETSO MAKHUBELA, LONATHEMBA MHLONGO, NOKO MATLOU, BAMBANANI MBANE, BONGEKA GAMEDE. 

Midfielders: 

 REFILOE JANE, SIBULELE HOLWENI, THUBELIHLE SHAMASE, LINDA MOTLHALO, KHOLOSA BIYANA, CIMONE SAULS, NOMVULA KGOALE, ROBYN MOODALY,  AMOGELANG MOTAU. 

Forwards: 

NOXOLO CESANE, GABRIELA SALGADO, SPHUMELELE SHAMASE,  JERMAINE SEOPOSENWE, MELINDA KGADIETE, NTHABISENG MAJIYA, HILDAH MAGAIA, LELONA DAWETI, NTOMBIFIKILE NDLOVU, WENDY SHONGWE.