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Banyana camp bubbles with 25 players after Kgatlana and Matlou arrivals

The number of players in Johannesburg has increased after the Eibar stars have linked up with the team

Eibar duo Thembi Kgatlana and Noko Matlou are the new arrivals for South Africa’s upcoming international friendlies against Zambia and Botswana.

Desiree Ellis’ side square off against their neighbours with the first test match against the Copper Queens scheduled to take place on Saturday at Bidvest Wits Stadium.

They will also take on the Zebras three days later at the same venue in rematches of the 2020 Olympic Games qualifier in September 2019 and the 2020 Cosafa Women’s Cup final last November.

Although Banyana avenged their Olympic elimination 12 months later at the Cosafa Cup, they will look to extend their dominance over their Southern African rivals.

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Ellis has invited 26 players for the ties and on Tuesday, and Amanda Mthandi, who plies her trade with Badajoz in Spain, arrived early on the day.

Banyana Banyana had their first training session on Tuesday afternoon at the Bidvest Stadium, and Kgatlana and Matlou arrived at the camp thereafter to increase the number of players in camp to 25.

The duo are returning to the Banyana fold for the first time since they last featured against Japan in a friendly in November 2019.

However, fourth goalkeeper Mapaseka Mpuru, who plays for the University of Pretoria, has withdrawn due to her studies.

South Africa are keen to surpass their runners-up finish at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco next year and the five-time finalists will hope to be ready in time for the qualifiers later this year.

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