While there was controversy in the previous camp surrounding ex-skipper Janine Van Wyk, Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis explains the defender’s inclusion in her squad.
Media reports surfaced last month when Van Wyk was said to have left Banyana camp as they faced DR Congo in the Olympic Qualifiers.
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Prior to the two-legged affair against Congo, Ellis included Van Wyk in her squad with the aim of honouring her as she announced her retirement from international football.
Ellis announced her Banyana squad on Thursday and Van Wyk is a surprise inclusion but the coach reacts to her decision to include the defender.
ELLIS REACTS TO VAN WYK’S INCLUSION IN BANYANA SQUAD
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Van Wyk is standing just two appearances away from breaking Ahmed Hassan’s record of the most capped – men or women – player in Africa.
However, it remains to be seen if she will be given a chance to play and eventually break the long-standing record.
Local football publications reported that Van Wyk was upset and stormed out of Banyana camp after not playing in the first leg.
“We will do our utmost best to get her those two caps,” said Ellis during the squad announcement per iDiski Times.
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“It’s not just a record for her. But I think it’s a record for women’s football in the country. It’s a record for SAFA. And a record for women’s football on the continent.
“And yes she was in the previous camp and I was asked the question by the media if ‘is there another opportunity?’ and I said ‘Burkina Faso’, and here is the opportunity.”
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The former Banyana international, Ellis refused to give more details on how SAFA dealt with Van Wyk’s decision to leave the camp.
Banyana are preparing to meet Burkina Faso over two legs for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on 30 November and 4 December respectively.
“With SAFA as well, it has been dealt with and we leave it at that,” adds Ellis.
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Looking at her debut, the blonde-haired former skipper made her Banyana debut against Nigeria in 2005.
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