Eswatini have submitted a provisional squad for the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Uncder-20 Championship as they seek to prove their prowess at the tournament to be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from August 1-11.
Eswatini will use the competition to showcase the future of their talent in this age-group, as well as what awaits the senior national side in a few years’ time.
There are some real youngsters in the group, including 14-year-olds, defender Nkosephayo Nkambule and midfielder Londiwe Maziya, and 15-year-old Samkelisiwe Malinga, who is also a midfielder.
Eswatini have been drawn in Group B at the tournament and will begin their campaign against Zambia on August 2 at the Gelvandale Stadium.
They then meet East African guest nation Tanzania two days later, before finishing their pool play against Botswana on August 6.
The top two in each group advance to the semifinals.
Eswatini featured at the 2018 AUSC Region 5 Games, where they lost both their matches to South Africa (0-2) and Namibia (1-3), though the scorelines suggest they were highly competitive fixtures.
That should give Eswatini plenty of confidence going into this year’s COSAFA finals, where they have the potential to surprise.
Eswatini have never before entered the qualifiers for the African Under-20 Cup of Nations for Women, but that should remain a major aim for the side in the coming years as they seek to grow the sport in the country.
Eswatini provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Gcinile Dlamini, Nonduduzo Mhlanga, Khanyisile Mvubu
Defenders: Ayanda Dlamini, Bongiwe Mathunjwa, Ncedo Gamedze, Lindiwe Mamba, Nolwazi Sihlongonyane, Nkosephayo Nkambule, Ncedile Dlamini, Bindzile Mamba
Midfielders: Siphelele Ndzimandze, Nondumiso Dlamini, Nokuthula Ndlovu, Londiwe Maziya, Siphilisiwe Ndlovu, Samkelisiwe Malinga, Sebenzile Mavuso, Condile Ndzimandze, Takhe Matsebula
Strikers: Phumlile Kunene, Simangele Sikhondze, Thandolwethu Simelane