Desiree Ellis confirms Mpumi Nyandeni talks after Janine van Wyk recall

Desiree Ellis confirms Mpumi Nyandeni talks after Janine van Wyk recall

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has confirmed talks over handing TS Galaxy Queens forward Nompumelelo Nyandeni her sought-after 150th cap before she retires from international football.

Ellis has been inundated with calls to include Nyandeni in one of her Banyana camps as part of a memorable send-off, especially at a time the player was enjoying a purple patch as the top goal scorer in the Hollywoodbets Super League before going on to being crowned the SAJFA Women’s Footballer of the Year in March. 

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Speaking at the Banyana squad announcement on Thursday ahead of their Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso, for which veteran defender Janine Van Wyk was also named in the team, Ellis elaborated on her conversation with Nyandeni. 

"I can answer that one for you, I've been in conversation with Mpumi, there is definitely an opportunity. We've had conversations so, as I said before, Janine was the first to reach out to say she's retiring, no one else has reached out," explained Ellis.

"Mpumi is the second that's reached out, and we've had conversations so there's definitely something in the pipeline and I can confidently say that I'm busy with that."

Van Wyk walked out on the national team last month, following their trip to DR Congo for an Olympic Games qualifier, distraught that Ellis had not allowed her to play and achieve her personal milestone.

The 36-year-old centre-back has 183 caps and only needs two appearances to become the all-time most capped African player – male or female, and Ellis insists the intention remains to get the former skipper to break that record. 

"We will do our utmost best to get her those two caps. It's not just a record for her but I think it's a record for women's football in the country, a record for SAFA, and a record for women's football on the continent," she added.

"And, yes, she was in the previous camp, and I was asked by the media if there would be another opportunity, and I said, 'Burkina Faso,' and here is the opportunity."

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