Durban University of Technology (DUT) student, Ongeziwe Ndlangisa has been called up to join Banyana Banyana squad as a standby player for the South African team that will be competing in its maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, starting next month (7 June – 7 July 2019).
According to the South African Football Association (SAFA), Ndlangisa and two other players have been called up as standby players and will travel with the squad to France this evening (Thursday, 23 May 2019), but will return to South Africa after the friendly against Norway on Sunday, 2 June in Amiens.
DUT’s Sports Management Studies third – year student said she is grateful for this opportunity. “It is an indication that I’m improving as a player and I’m looking forward to more of such opportunities,” she said.
Ndlangisa received her first ever call-up for the camp that was in preparation for the friendly international between Banyana Banyana and the Reggae Girlz (Jamaica Women’s National team), which took place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 07 April 2019.
Commenting on the rationale behind calling up the trio – Banyana Banyana Head Coach, Desiree Ellis said for a tournament like the World Cup, they need to have players on standby in the event of an injury to anyone in the squad that have been selected. Adding that the three players have been part of the Banyana Banyana set-up in recent times and know how the team plays,” said Ellis.
“The reason we are going with them to France is that we still have a match to play and don’t want to have to call someone from back home, and also they will be at the same level of fitness as the other players so it will not be a challenge to introduce them back into the team – so in other words we always have to be ready with our planning,” said Ellis.
South Africa will face Spain on 8 June in their opening clash of their maiden World Cup match. The match takes place in Le Havre, and will be followed by clashes against China PR on 13 June and Germany on 17 June in Paris and Montpellier respectively.
Pictured: Ongeziwe Ndlangisa.