Banyana Banyana had their first training session on Monday, 17 October

Banyana Banyana had their first training session on Monday, 17 October
Banyana-Banyana-trainingEllis takes charge of her first Banyana Banyana training session

18 October 2016 – Banyana Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis has admitted to being
nervous when she took charge of her first training session of the South African
Senior Women’s National Team since she was appointed to the position
last week.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

Ellis, who is being assisted by Maud Khumalo and Cheryl Botes, worked for two and
half years as an assistant to former Banyana Banyana head coach Vera Pauw.

“I was a bit nervous but the players were looking forward to it and I was pleasantly
surprised by the attitude, by the level of fitness because they were professional
enough to continue with their training as we all know the 2016 African Women Cup
of Nations is coming up, and that gave us a base to work from as the technical
team,” said Ellis. 

She has made a few changes to the team but also kept some of those who went to the
2016 Rio Olympics. Bontle Mashilo (TUT-Pretoria), Lebogang Rakhuduwe (TUT-Pretoria)
and Astrid Boks (Santos FC) are the only new comers into the squad. 

“Basically, we tried to freshen the squad a bit. We looked at the Varsity Cup that
has been going on, and some other tournaments, and we felt the need to bring the new
players in. As for the players that have been there before but did not go to Rio
we also thought we should give them another opportunity and also assess how they
have been doing Unfortunately the overseas-based players are not available,” added
Ellis. 

“But the door is definitely not closed to anyone – those who did not make it this
time and still aspire to play for the national team they will get their chance.” 

The former Banyana Banyana captain admits her first match in charge will not be easy
but they will do the best they can. 

“We know it will not be easy against Egypt because they qualified for the 2016
Africa Women’s Cup of Nations after beating Ivory Coast at home and lost 2-1 away -
but went through on the away goal rule, so we can’t take them lightly. We want to do
well and get off on a positive start. The challenge in the past has been lack of
goals and we are working to get it right hence we brought many attacking players. It
is always good to start with a win, and hopefully we will achieve that,” said
Ellis. 

Amanda Dlamini and Legato Madiba have been withdrawn from the squad for the clash
against Egypt. Dlamini has been away on other commitments (she went to France with
the DANONE u12 squad and only returned on Tuesday, 18 October), while Madiba is out
with an injury. 

Amogelang Motau, captain of the South African u20 Women’s National Team, has been
brought in as Dlamini’s replacement while Nomathemba Ntsibande has taken the place
of Madiba.

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