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Desiree Ellis announces squad for Cyprus Women’s Cup

The Banyana Banyana head coach dropped three players from the squad that featured in encouraging friendlies against the Netherlands and Sweden.

Banyana Banyana training in Cape Town. Picture: @Banyana_Banyana/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis announced a squad of 23 players to take part in the Cyprus Women’s Cup which runs from 27 February to 6 March.

Ellis has left out three players from the squad of 26 that featured in encouraging friendlies against the Netherlands and Sweden.

Missing out are goalkeeper Jessica Williams, forward Kelso Peskin and midfielder Hildah Magaia.

Ellis said: “The battle for places in the final squad for the World Cup is becoming tighter and tighter as we get closer to the tournament. I have said before that starting with the Cyprus Cup, we will be travelling with only 23 players, which is the number that we will take to France as per regulations. But make no mistake, this is by no means the World Cup squad, even though it is very close to what we will select. The tournament kicks off in June and anything can happen.

“So, this is a wake-up call to whoever is not in the squad because the door is never closed to anyone until the announcement of the final squad. But also bear in mind that you don’t want to make too many changes so close to the competition unless there is still some exceptional talent out there that we haven’t selected,” said Ellis.

Banyana Banyana finished in sixth place in 2018, their highest ever finish, and will face Finland, the Czech Republic and North Korea in Group A.

The annual Cyprus Cup is part of South Africa’s preparation for the Women’s World Cup, which will take place in France from 7 June to 7 July 2019.

Banyana assembles for camp from Wednesday and will depart for Cyprus on Saturday.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)