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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Ellis reveals Banyana selection headache ahead of Tanzania tie

“Training has gone well, and players have put in the effort which makes the job more difficult to select the final 23 players," said the Banyana coach.

Desiree Ellis says it is becoming more and more difficult to select the Banyana Banyana squad as more players continue to impress her.

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Ellis is in camp with only locally based players ahead of their third-round Olympics qualifier against Tanzania on 23 February away from home.

Ellis conducted her first training session with the team on Monday and says the team is looking good, despite the strong heat.

“Some players have put in a lot of work and a big thank you to their clubs as well for the work they have done in pre-season. They were a little bit rusty yesterday (Monday), but today (Tuesday) it was better. We are just trying to find that energy and the connection. But, it’s a group of players who have been together for a while, so it’s not difficult to get that connection. The heat is not helping, but I suppose it will help on the other side because we anticipate it to be a bit hotter (in Tanzania) even though it’s more on the coast,” said the South Africa senior national women’s team coach on Tuesday.

“Training has gone well, and players have put in the effort which makes the job more difficult to select the final 23 players. It becoming more difficult to select players, and it’s becoming difficult to tell someone they didn’t make it (not in the squad).

“There are a couple of injuries which make some players not available, but it doesn’t make it easier. It’s still difficult. We always tell them they should raise their hands, and some raise their hands more than others.”

Banyana are expected to leave the country to Tanzania next week.

The team will then host their opponents for the return leg on 28 February at Mbombela Stadium, with the winner of the two-legged tie going to the final round of the qualifiers.

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The 2024 Olympic Games will be hosted in Paris in July.

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