Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
19 Oct 2016
5:17 pm

New Banyana coach opens door for new players

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis says the door is still open for players to make their way into the national senior women football team.

Desiree Ellis with Banyana SA players during the 2016 FIFA U/20 Womens World Cup Qualifier match between South Africa and Zambia at Makhulong Stadium. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Ellis said this as they prepared for 2016 African Women Cup of Nations scheduled to play in November till December in Cameroon.

The former Banyana captain, who was an assistant to the recently departed Vera Pauw, has chosen her first team to take on Egypt in a friendly match at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday.

“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,” Ellis told the Safa official website.

“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 new Banyana coach added she was nervous at the first training session (Tuesday) with the team, but the players were looking forward to it.

“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.

Midfielder Amanda Dlamini has been withdraw from the squad due to other commitments, while Ellis has brought in a couple of players who played in this year’s varsity cup.

Bontle Mashilo (TUT-Pretoria), Lebogang Rakhuduwe (TUT-Pretoria) and Astrid Boks (Santos FC) are the new players who found their way into the team.