Ellis pays tribute to Banyana players after fourth Caf award
'So first of all, this goes to the Banyana Banyana players and the staff,' said the Banyana mentor.
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis. Picture: Abu Adem Muhammed/Anadolu via Getty Images
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree has praised her players’ efforts after winning her fourth Caf Coach of the Year award at the Caf Awards in Morocco on Monday.
Ellis won the accolade in 2018, 2019, and 2022, as well this year after steering Banyana to the Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) title and their second appearance at the Fifa Women’s World Cup, with the team making it to the knockout stages of the global showpiece.
Ellis is happy with the accolade but says getting the award was all about teamwork and gave thanks to everyone behind Banyana.
“It is an incredible achievement, but like I always say, I don’t work alone, I work in team sport. I will quote Coach T (Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala) again by saying we put a lot of effort in and work in, but the players make us look good,” she told safa.net.
‘A big thank you’
“So a big thank you to the Banyana Banyana players for all the effort that they’ve put in. We speak about teamwork and we always say the team does well, the individual stands out. I’m fortunate that I’m that individual. And of course a big thank you to the staff who work behind the scenes, who put in an incredible job for the team to be where they are and for us to be rewarded and awarded.”
“So first of all, this goes to the Banyana Banyana players and the staff. It also goes to the coaches out there who work in the leagues, the Hollywoodbets Super League and the Sasol League, and who work in women’s football.”
Ellis and her Banyana charges played their last game of the year last week when they took on Burkina Faso in the 2024 Wafcon qualifiers. The South African senior national women’s team won the clash 3-1 and booked their spot for the continental tournament, where they will be aiming to defend their title.
Banyana will be back in action next year in February against Tanzania to continue the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.