Solid as a rock Banyana Banyana defender Bambanani ‘Juice’ Mbane (27) was included in the list of 26 players called up by interim coach Desiree Ellis for the friendly matches that were played against a Sweden ladies team at the Cape Town Stadium. Coach Ellis assembled a formidable squad for the two friendlies which were scheduled for 18 and 21January 2018.
The first game which was played behind close door saw, while the second one Banyana lost 3-0 to the visitors in the match that was for public. Mbane, who has 18 caps to her name, was at the heart of Banyana defence and was just unlucky to concede an own goal in the second match. She was also part of the team that won the 2-0 against Zimbabwe in the final match of the 2017 Cosafa Women's Championships to be crowned champions at Barbourfield in Bulawayo. The team later announced as The Best Women Team of The Year.
"It was an hour for me to represent my country for the 18th time. We played against the best in the world's football and we were not embarrassed. I am pleased for the game time I am getting, especially in international games. We still need more mental strength to compete with countries rated highly in international football," said the Sterkspruit born defender. “To play against the Swedish team gave us a lot of experience," added Mbane who is also Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies team.
Meanwhile, coach Ellis has also rewarded some players that participate in the 2017 Sasol League National Championships staged in Nelspruit in December. Those player included in the ladies national team were Yonela Keto,(Thunderbirds FC), Kgaelebane Mohlokoane, Melina Kgadiete (both from Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies), Nliswa Luthuli and Sduduzo Dlamini (both from Sunflower FC).