The Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach has named a tentative squad that will commence training on Monday 2nd October 2023 at the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba. The national team will implement these training sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays per week up until the execution of the international friendly matches whose details will be availed in due course. These training sessions and the friendly matches are part of the national team’s preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers to be played in November 2023. The tentative squad is as follows:
Khanyakwezwe Shabalala (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Ncamiso Dlamini (Royal Leopards FC), Colani Gama (Green Mamba F.C.)
Delisa Gama (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Sibongakinkhe Silenge (Green Mamba F.C.), Simanga Masangane (Royal Leopard F.C.), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard F.C.), Philiso Newman (Mbabane Swallows F.C), Samkelo Ginindza (Moneni Pirates F.C.), Mcolisi Manana (Green Mamba F.C.), Vusi Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.)
Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard F.C.), Mzwandile Mabelesa (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Bongiswa Dlamini (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Neliswa Dlamini (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Ayanda Gadlela (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Kwakhe Tfwala (Mbabane Swallows F.C.)
Mxolisi Mkhontfo (Green Mamba F.C.), Njabulo Magagula (Green Mamba F.C.), Ali Matse (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Sizolwethu Shabalala (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Neliso Myeni (Nsingizini Hotspurs F.C.), Mthokozisi Gwebu (Manzini Sea Birds F.C.)
The Senior Women National Team conceded three goals in the first half of the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier Match against Burkina Faso in a match that looked like the west Africans were going to have it easy against the Eswatini Senior Women’s National Team in a match that was played on Wednesday afternoon at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba. It was not a good start for the local girls as they committed a lot of errors at the back and they were punished by the Burkinabe. The was a lot of panicking from Sitsebe as they also lost the ball easily; however, splendid saves by the goalkeeper, Khanyisile Mvubu maintained the scoreline at 3-0 in favour of Barkina Faso at half time. burkina Faso scored their goals through Alimata (16th), Rasmata (18th), and Mouniratou (31st).
It was in the second half that Eswatini displayed a better performance as they were able to get more possession of the ball. An early second half goal by Samkelisiwe Simelane in the 48th minutes gave the Eswatini side some hope that they can come back. Sitsebe SaMhlekazi was able to share the ball and made more transitional passes that were able to unlock the defence of the Burkinabe defence. Celiwe Nkambule misses a glorious chance to reduce the deficit to one goal after his thunderous shot went over the crossbar with the goalkeeper to beat. Eswatini finally reduced the deficit by one goal after scoring the second goal through Tenanile Ngcamphalala in the 88th minute. Eswatini gained more confidence and created more chances unfortunately couldn’t find the back of the net.
The referee blew the final whistle of the match with the scoreline at 3-2 in favour of Burkina Faso. Both national teams will play again on Tuesday, 26th September 2023 in Ivory Coast.
The Senior Women's National Team Head Coach, Zwelibandzi Khoza has highlighted that they want a better performance and they are looking forward to play in the TotalEnergies WAFCON Qualifier match against Burkina Faso.
“Everyone wants a win, but we want a better performance than before” Khoza said. He stated that he is very happy with the progress and quality of the players. “Burkina Faso is a strong team and very aggressive but we want to turn-around and fight for better results” he added.
The Coach’s words were echoed by the captain, Tenanile Ngcamphalala and Sitsebe’s striker, Celiwe Nkambule. “Preparations are going well and we are going to compete to our best for better results”, Ngcamphalala said. She stated that no player is injured and players are fit. “We need to focus on the final whistle to avoid mistakes that happen during the last minutes of the game” she added.
Futhermore, the Woman's National Team Striker, Celiwe Nkambule stated that they are going to fight and hope for positive results. “We will work hard as a team and we will do every assignment that is expected from us”, Nkambule said.
Sitsebe SaMhlekazi is also in preparations for the upcoming 2023 COSAFA Women’s Championship which is scheduled for 4-15 October 2023 in Gauteng, South Africa.
Going to the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier match that was played on Friday in Morocco, the Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati were underdogs on paper with Burkina Faso parading players who play in top European leagues. Sihlangu was equal to the challenge as they played to a barren draw against the Stallions as the Burkina Faso Senior Men’s National Team is affectionately known.
The Eswatini national team head coach made several changes in as far as the national team camp was concerned which included the inclusion of Moneni Pirates player, Samkeliso Ginindza who got his initial full cap. He played very well at the heart of the defence together with Sibongakonkhe Silenge who got his 6th cap and was as solid as a rock. They were able to stop the Burkinabé strikers together with the other defenders who were Kwakhe Tfwala and Mlamuli Msibi. Khanyakwezwe Shabalala who got his 2nd cap played a game of his life as he made crucial saves and commanded his 18-area box very well. Sifiso Matse the captain and Mzwandile Mabelesa won many battles in the middle of the park. Their experience was evident through out the match. Bongwa Matsebula’s creativity created goal scoring opportunities for the national team unfortunately Mxolisi Mkhontfo could not convert them into goal.
According to the head coach, Dominic Kunene, the players did very well and Samkelo Ginindza fitted very well in the team regardless that it was his first full cap. “The players did very well and I am happy with the way Samkelo Ginindza fitted in the team even though it was his first full cap. You could hardly tell that it was his first time for him to play for the national team,” Kunene said.
As part of preparing Samkelo Ginindza for this mammoth task, the head coach highlighted that as a technical bench, they prepared the player psychologically and told him that he must play his normal game and go all out to represent his country very well. “We prepared the player psychologically and told him to play his normal game and represent his country very well”, Kunene said. In such a situation, the head coach highlighted that it is vital to prepare the player (s) psychologically. Going forward, he stated that it is important to maintain the team.
As part of the 55/55 Double Celebration, the U20 Men’s National Team played an international friendly match against Mozambique U20 Men’s National Team yesterday evening at the Somhlolo National Stadium. This match ended in a 1-1 draw after the ten-man local side fought back following an early shower for Luyanda Nhlengetfwa for a dangerous play. The referee of the day, Thulani Sibandze send both teams to the dressing rooms at the end of the first half with Mozambique leading by 1-0.
Eswatini pilled more pressure to the visitors in the second half as they were able to create more goal scoring opportunities which resulted in the local side scoring the equalizing goal through Banele Nkambule. This lightened the atmosphere at the stadium as the Eswatini fans were on top of their voices urging the local team to score the winning goal. The referee blew the final whistle with the score line still at 1-1.
When reacting to the performance of the national team, the EFA President, Mr. Peter Simelane acknowledged the effort of the players in as far as this match was concerned. “The boys are promising and they did very well considering that the visitors had one player advantage following the red card in the first half,” Simelane said.
His words were echoed by the head coach of the national team, Mr. Mduduzi Nxumalo who praised the players for showing character after playing almost the whole match with one man down. “The boys fought very well after being one man down which showed a lot of character in as far as they are concerned,” Nxumalo said. He also lamented on the missed goal scoring opportunities and the less time to prepare for this match as he felt they could have done better. “We missed a lot of goal scoring opportunities and also we had less time to prepare for this match which had an effect on our play,” Nxumalo said. The head coach also highlighted the adverse effect of the off-season as most of the players have not yet played competitive club football for the new season and some of them are still new in the national team set-up.
The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikakati) has left the country for Morocco to play the final match of their TotalEnergies 2023 AFCON Qualifiers against Burkina Faso. This match will be played on Friday, 8th September 2023 in Marrakech, Morocco.
During the farewell function that was held at the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba, the EFA’s Vice President Mr. Steve Horton expressed his delight on having a youthful national team. “I am happy to see a young national team which is an indication of a positive future for Eswatini football,” Horton said. Having said that, he reminded the technical team and players that this is an important assignment as the public wants results. “The public wants results thus this is an important assignment,” Horton said. He also urged the coach to allow the players to express themselves as they have nothing to loss. “Coach, allow the players to express themselves as they have nothing to lose,” Horton said.
The head coach of the national team, Dominic Kunene highlighted that they will do their level best in Morocco. “We will do our level best in this match”, Kunene said. The national team’s captain, Sifiso Matse stated that they have learned something from the past and they want to improve going forward. “We have learned from the previous matches and we want to improve going forward,” Matse said. The travelling players are as follows:
The Senior Men’s National Team’s (Sihlangu SeMnikati’s) preparations are going well. This was highlighted by the head coach Dominic Kunene as Sihlangu continues with the preparations for the upcoming TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier match against Burkina Faso. “The preparations are going well and I urge all the players to maximise this opportunity”, Kunene said.
As there are changes in the players that are in the national team, the head coach is pleased with their response in training. “Let me acknowledge the other coaches in conditioning the players very well as they are in good shape and they are responding very well”, Kunene said.
One of the players who has been called for the first time in Sihlangu is Philiso Newman who has graduated from the U20 National Team, acknowledged his coaches at club level as he was able to work hard. “Hard work was key for me to be where I am today and credit goes to my coaches at club level”, Newman said. The national team camp has been boosted by the arrival of Justice Figuaredo who plays for Richards Bay United in South Africa. Sihlangu is scheduled to play against Burkina Faso on Friday, 8th September 2023 in Morocco.
Young Buffaloes Ladies F.C. have left the country for Durban to compete in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League COSAFA Qualifiers to be held in Durban, South Africa. This tournament will start on the 30th August and ends on the 8th September 2023.When sending them off, the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) through the organisation’s General Secretary Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu acknowledged Young Buffaloes F.C. for their domestic success and wished them well as they compete in the tournament. “The EFA congratulates Young Buffaloes Ladies F.C. for the domestic success thus representing the country in this tournament,” Mngomezulu said.
As an effort to develop women’s football, the EFA paid USD10 000.00 which is the participation fee for the tournament. The EFA paid USD10 000 participation fee for the team and the organisation has done so for the previous two years. It is an investment by the EFA as the players gain the much-needed international experience,” Mngomezulu said.
He also emphasised the significance of good conduct. “Good conduct is key as you are now representing the country. You must make the authorities of the country to be proud of you,” Mngomezulu said.
The Head Coach, Mr. Sabelo Mnisi stated that the players are ready for the tournament and will do their best during the tournament. “The players are ready as the preparations went well. We will do our level best,” Mnisi said. The team captain, Simangele Sikhondze echoed the coach’s words. “As players, we are ready for the tournament and we will do our level best to represent the country very well,” said Sikhondze.
The team left for Durban by road and the delegation is led by EFA’s Executive Member and Chairman of the Women’s Football Association (WFA) Mr. Bonginkosi Mhlanga.
The Trade Fair Cup is back. This was after the launch of the PLE Trade Fair Cup on Friday, 25th August 2023 at Sigwaca House in Mbabane. This historic tournament used to be called the Swaziland International Trade Fair and was a marvel to the football fans who used to enjoy Eswatini’s night football. It brings back fond memories in as far as the Eswatini football business is concerned.
The sponsorship package for this year’s edition is One Million Emalangeni. This tournament is scheduled to kick-off on the 3rd September 2023 and will be played for ten days. “The sponsorship package is One Million Emalangeni,” said Mr. Charles Matsebula an Executive Committee Member of the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE). Football fans will be able to watch the action at a cost of Sixty Emalangeni with some of the matchdays having three matches. The participating teams for this tournament are the fourteen teams playing in the MTN Premier League. Green Mamba FC who are the MTN Premier League Champions and Young Buffaloes FC who were the runners up of last season’s league will be in action in the quarter-finals of this tournament.
With the Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati) currently in camp in readiness of the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier match against Burkina Faso on the 8th September 2023 in Morocco, Sihlangu players will not be in action in as far as this tournament is concerned. “With the national team currently in camp, this tournament will present an opportunity for other players to display their talent which is also good for talent development,” said Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu, the General Secretary of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA).
As another highlight of this tournament, eleven substitutes will be allowed so that the players will have some rest between matches. The GS emphasised about the importance of the spirit of sportsmanship; thus, good conduct is urged during the tournament. “As part of the spirit of sportsmanship, good conduct is expected during this tournament”, said Mngomezulu. Due to the popularity of football the GS also urged Government to always engage football in the implementation of her projects. “Football is the most popular sport in the globe which makes it a perfect vehicle towards the successful execution of any programme”, Mngomezulu said.
Speaking on behalf of Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) was Mr. Bongani Ntjangase who is EIPA’s Head of Trade acknowledged the PLE for being part of the Trade Fair through this tournament. “We are excited about this tournament which is an indication that football is business, not just a game,” Ntjangase said.
The current FIFA Chief of Global Development Mr. Arsène Wenger once said “At a young age, winning is not the most important thing. The important thing is to develop creative and skilled players with good confidence.” Through the hosting of Mozambique on Saturday, 19th August 2023 under the Technical Development Scheme (TDS), the EFA provided a wonderful platform for the Eswatini and Mozambican child to develop here talent.
The talented U15 girls and boys under this programme got the opportunity to play international football as part of their development. A total of twelve (12) matches were played on the day with a summation of thirty (30) goals scored. Each country had two teams on both sections (girls and boys). Present during this event was EFA’s Technical Development Committee (TDC) Members amongst others.
“The future looks bright with the implementation of such football development programme. The TDS is for the talented child, and this shows that there is a lot of talent out there that needs to be nurtured. Let me applaud the EFA for hosting this event and this is a good investment for the future,” Letsoaki said.
The EFA’s Technical Director Mr. Bhekisisa Mkhonta applauded FIFA for her investment towards football development and highlighted the significance of hosting such events. “First, let me acknowledge FIFA’s efforts towards the development of football. Such events are key in as far as player development is concerned as playing international opponents at this age enhances player development,” Mkhonta said.
Mozambique teams were the champions of this tournament on both girls and boys sections and for their efforts, they got two trophies and gold medals.