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South Africa’s Janine Van Wyk targets ‘last chance’ Women’s World Cup

South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk says the upcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals will be emotional.

South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk won her 150th cap against Malawi at the Cosafa Cup in September
South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk won her 150th cap against Malawi at the Cosafa Cup in September

The top three from the Nations Cup finals qualify for next year’s World Cup in France.

“It’s an emotional one for some of us as it is our last opportunity to qualify for the World Cup, which we have never done before,” she said.

The 31-year-old was talking as she was named in the 21-woman squad for the finals in Ghana.

The tournament begins on 17 November and the final will be on 2 December.

Head coach Desiree Ellis has included two uncapped players in the squad in Amanda Mthandi of University of Johannesburg and Mamelodi Sundowns’ Tiisetso Makhubela.

She has also included 13 players who represented South Africa at the last Nations Cup in Cameroon, where they finished fourth.

“It was a difficult task to pin down the final 21 players as they all raised their hands to show how much they want to be part of this magnificent team,” Ellis explained.

“But I am confident that the players we have chosen will do the business for South Africa.

“Too many times we have close to winning the tournament and I think with the preparations we have had, we feel ready for the competition.”

The squad have been in a training camp since Sunday, 21 October, and will travel to Ghana on Friday, 9 November.

They will open her account with a clash against the Super Falcons on 18 November, followed by an encounter against Kenya three days later in Cape Coast.

Their final Group B match will be against their Southern Africa rivals Zambia in Accra on 24 November.

South Africa squad:

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kaylin Swart (Menlo College USA, awaiting international transfer), Roxanne Barker (University of Western Cape)

Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe, Noko Matlou (both Ma-Indies FC Polokwane), Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcons FC), Janine Van Wyk (Houston Dash, USA, awaiting international transfer), Bambanani Mbane (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tiisetso Makhubela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Koketso Tlailan (TUT-PTA Pretoria)

Midfielders: Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (Bloemfontein Celtic), Mamello Makhabane, Nompumelelo Nyandeni (both JVW FC Johannesburg), Leandra Smeda (Gintra Universitetas, Lithuania), Linda Motlhalo (Houston Dash, USA), Busisiwe Ndimeni (TUT-PTA Pretoria), Refiloe Jane (Canberra United, Australia)

Strikers: Jermaine Seoposenwe (JVW FC Johannesburg), Thembi Kgatlana (Houston Dash, USA), Melinda Kgadiete (Bloemfontein Celtic), Amanda Mthandi (University of Johannesburg)

Standby players: Hildah Magaia (TUT-PTA Pretoria), Kholosa Biyana (UKZN Durban), Rachel Sebati (TUT-PTA Pretoria), Thato Letsoso (University of Johannesburg)

BANYANA BANYANA FIXTURES:

Nigeria vs South Africa 15h30 (17h30) 18 Nov 2018 Cape Coast

Kenya vs South Africa 18h30 (20h30) 21 Nov 2018 Cape Coast

South Africa vs Zambia 16h00 (18h00) 24 Nov 2018 Accra Stadium.   BBC Sport.