Departing Desiree doubly delighted
DESIREE Ellis bows out of the game as a champion, the first South African to win the regional Cosafa Cup as a player and as a coach after guiding Banyana Banyana to a 2-1 triumph over the hosts in Bulawayo last week.
She won the tournament as captain of Banyana back in 2002 and now in 2017 as a coach, but like the diplomat that she has always been, she deflected the attention to the players and emphasised that it was not about her, but about the collective, even though one could detect a lump in the throat as she drops the reins.
The South African Football Association has hinted that they would be employing a foreign coach, believed to be an experienced Italian, but the hierarchy refused to divulge her identity until they assemble a group of hacks where they plan to announce her identity publicly.
“Football is a team sport and it would be wrong of me to claim the victory as an individual,” said Ellis.
“The girls played exceptionally well and what pleases me is that this is a new generation, a new group of players in which 10 of them were playing together for the first time.”
The future does look bright for the SA women, especially when one considers that the squad was missing most of the experienced regulars like skipper Janine Van Wyk, while Noko Matlou