The Banyana Banyana trio of midfielders Nondyebo Mgudu and Memory Makhanya, as well as defender Zamantosi Cele, will be looking to keep the KwaZulu Natal flag flying briskly, in the quest for places in the national team for next month’s Cyprus Women’s Cup and the London Olympics in July.
The three players represent Durban Ladies in the Sasol League (KwaZulu Natal) and are among the 23 players taking part in the national training camp in Stellenbosch, which runs until January 29.
Mgudu, nicknamed ‘Tumie’, has four Banyana Banyana caps, and could play a key role for national coach Joseph Mkhonza in a central defensive position during 2012.
“The training has been intensive and our coach gave us Monday off which allowed us to relax and take in some of the Western Cape scenery while we took the train along the beachfront through to Simonstown, and of course some shopping at the mall,” said honours sports science student Mgudu.
“But now it’s back to use the quality training time made possible by Sasol and SAFA, to the maximum. The squad is split in half with some of the players doing a 50 minute training session in the gymnasium, and the other concentrating on on-field football skill work, before the groups alternate.”
Makhanya, a right-footed midfielder who has scored five goals for Banyana Banyana, and Cele, who is at home in the centre of defence or as a right back defender, are equally as focused on the task.
“There is healthy competition for team places and everyone is training really hard as nobody wants to miss out on the international fixtures,” said Cele, a public management student at Durban University of Technology.
“Afterhours in the camp, I usually hang around with striker Noko Matlou as she is a very experienced player and like a sister – very easy to talk to. Defender Gabisile Hlumbane is very calm and positive and I enjoy talking with her as well.”