Banyana coach won’t take things for granted

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BANYANA Banyana will have to read­just their think­ing if they reckon their up­com­ing Cosafa Women’s Cham­pi­onship cam­paign in Bu­l­awayo, Zim­babwe is go­ing to be a walk in the park.

This is the view of in­terim coach, De­siree El­lis, who stated that her charges would do well to take lessons from Bafana Bafana’s re­cent fail­ure to beat Cape Verde in two 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing matches. The men’s team lost twice, 2-1 on ei­ther leg against a side who are 17 places be­low them on the Caf rank­ings. But hav­ing won this cham­pi­onship three times be­fore, and cur­rently been pit­ted in what is re­garded as an easy group with Botswana, Zam­bia and Le­sotho, El­lis reck­ons treat­ing ev­ery match as if it were a fi­nal would see them win­ning this year’s cham­pi­onship.

“We’ll be naive go­ing to this tour­na­ment with­out any in­ten­tion of want­ing to win it,” El­lis said. “We must re­mem­ber what hap­pened to Bafana. That should be a les­son for us that there isn’t such a thing as a small team.

“Not so long ago,” El­lis added. “I asked the play­ers, ‘Who’s got a Cosafa medal’? There were only three play­ers who raised their hands. A ma­jor­ity of this cur­rent group do not have that cham­pi­onship medal and I told them that it was up to them to go all the way out in an at­tempt to win it (for them­selves), too. This is now their chance.”

Banyana will play their first match of the tour­na­ment this Thurs­day against Botswana.

“Yes, we are well aware what we are up against. We are not go­ing to take any of our op­po­nents lightly,” added the coach.

MOHAU RAMASHIDJA

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