Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
8 Apr 2022
11:50 am

Banyana coach pleased with players’ fitness levels

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

'We started training on Wednesday, it looked better than the last time', says Ellis.

Gv of Banyana players during training at Highlands Park Football Club in Johannesburg. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is content with the fitness of her troops ahead of their trip to Europe, where they will be taking on Netherlands in an international friendly at the City of Den Haag on 12 April.

The Banyana coach says everyone in the team is excited about the clash with one of the best national women’s teams in the world, who reached the quarter-finals of the last Fifa Women’s World Cup in France, where they were knocked-out by England.

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“We started training on Wednesday, it looked better than the last time. The players are six weeks on since Algeria (Women’s Africa Cup of Nations WAFCON qualifiers), we also played a couple of friendlies, a couple of tournaments and that helps because game time is the best, so the fitness levels are further up,” said the South African senior national women’s team mentor.

“It’s really exciting to see everybody looking forward to the game. It’s not an easy opponent, we played them in 2019, and they have been to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the Olympics. They have a top team and they also have a new coach, who joined the team after the Olympics.”

 With the player’s conditions satisfying for Ellis, the former Banyana captain however, still wants to see improvement in certain areas of the team’s play.

“There are a few things that we need to work on, we need to be better in our defence, in our combination play and of course our finishing. But, in saying that, the players have played a couple of friendlies, other players are in season, I think it will be much better.”

Banyana will also use this match as part of the team’s preparations for the WAFCON tournament that will be played in Morocco in July.