Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
12 Nov 2016
5:26 pm

Ellis content with Banyana squad

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is content with her squad after making six changes from their previous game and going on to beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in an international friendly played in Harare on Thursday.

Desiree Ellis coach of Banyana Banyana. (Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

It was Ellis’ second victory in two games in charge of Banyana, having beaten Egypt 3-1 in her first match and she says the changes she made were to assess some of her players ahead of the all-important African Women Championships (AWC) which kicks off in Cameroon on Saturday next week.

“I made changes in this game because I needed to see what other players can offer in a match situation and I am impressed with what I saw. Every coach that goes into a match looks for a win, but for me, the bigger picture was to test as many players as possible and I am glad the exercise worked well.

“If you can leave out some regulars in the starting line-up and still manage a win, that is something to be proud of. And getting a victory ahead of a big tournament is a morale booster for the entire team.

“We need to continue to celebrate our talent, especially considering the overwhelming success of Banyana Banyana in recent years. It is a good and well-balanced squad and I am confident we are picking up from where we left off during the Olympics,” added Ellis.

Midfielder Thembi Kgatlana, who registered her first goals for the senior national after scoring a brace against the Mighty Warriors, says the goals have certainly boosted her morale ahead of the AWC.

“It feels good that I have finally scored for the senior team. I think it was perfect timing to start scoring as we prepare for the AWC,” said Kgatlana.

“Beating Zimbabwe in their own home ground gives us confidence because we will face them in the opening match of the Tournament.”

Banyana Banyana are in Group A, alongside hosts Cameroon, Egypt, and Zimbabwe while Group B consists of Nigeria, Mali, Ghana and Kenya.