The Mares have been dealt with a heavy blow ahead of their COSAFA Women's Championship quest with goalkeeper, Sedilame Boseja ruled out of the tournament due to an injury.
"We are yet to write to her team to formally learn about the extent of the injury. But it looks like it is an injury that will keep her out of play for a very long period. She will not be going with us to the COSAFA Cup. This is a very huge blow for us because she has always been in the team. She is a very important player of the team.
It is hard for a coach to lose a player like her because for a tournament like this, it is a very hard decision to throw in another player into the deep end," she said. Boseja has ever been present in the Mares' team since her debut as a 17-year-old. The now, 24-year-old was last year voted COSAFA Championships' goalkeeper of the tournament after her heroics between the posts to help the Mares to their highest ever finish as runners-up.
Nkutlwisang will be looking for options in Under-20 shot stopper, Gloria Moeng, Ookeditse Mafoko, Merylin John and Refilwe Tshambane who have all been named in the provisional squad. Double Actions' Lesego Pheresi could be thrown into the mix after a good showing at the just ended Champions League qualifiers.
'Ronaldo' will also be waiting on the team's skipper, Bonang 'Bebeto' Otlhagile's decision after the utility player hinted on a retirement with a Facebook post. "She is a player that any coach would put in the starting line up in their sleep. With her, as a coach you know you have another coach in the field because she is a leader. She is part of my plans but we will wait for her, you may know that she has just come back with Double Action from the Champions League qualifiers," Nkutlwisang said.
The Mares are to regroup ahead of the tournament scheduled to be played in Gqeberha, South Africa from September 15-21, 2021. The team prior to the break won 8-2 against the national Under-20 side in a friendly match.