El­lis has a De­sire(e) to im­press Safa

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MO­HAU RA­MASHIDJA

LIKE many play­ers who will be hop­ing to be caught by the scouts’ radar and earn pro­fes­sional con­tracts abroad when Banyana Banyana take on France in an in­ter­na­tional friendly on Sun­day, De­siree El­lis will also be hop­ing to make a big ca­reer move.

The Banyana in­terim coach would like to coach South Africa’s women senior na­tional team on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

But, as it stands, she hasn’t re­ceived word from her bosses on whether they want to keep her or not.

A win against world No 3 France at Saint-De­nis in the Re­union Is­lands on Sun­day (kick-off 7pm), El­lis reck­ons, will be enough to con­vince her em­ploy­ees that she’s the right per­son for the job.

Banyana will travel to the Re­union to­mor­row morn­ing.

“A good re­sult will def­i­nitely prove I’m right for Banyana,” El­lis said beamed dur­ing a me­dia in­ter­view at the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg’ sport grounds yes­ter­day. “But I’m still here and that’s promis­ing (enough).

“All I can do now is pre­pare the team and make sure they ex­e­cute the plan we’ve set out. The rest will be up to the pow­ers-that-be (whether to hire her or not).”

The 53-year old former Banyana skip­per ad­mit­ted that her side could have done bet­ter in last Novem­ber’s Africa Cup of Na­tions for women (AWC) in Cameroon.

Banyana fin­ished fourth for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive time in the bi­en­nial, con­ti­nen­tal show­piece fol­low­ing a num­ber of chances they squan­dered in front of goal.

El­lis said that fin­ish­ing was some­thing they needed to work on if they are to do bet­ter in next year’s tour­na­ment which will serve as a World Cup qual­i­fier as well.

“It’s not just a Banyana prob­lem, it’s a na­tional prob­lem,” El­lis said of her side’s poor fin­ish­ing.

“At the AWC we cal­cu­lated and found that we missed about 80 scor­ing chances, scor­ing just five. The plan is to get this team to have their shots on tar­get and hope­fully score more goals in the­lead up to next year’s tour­na­ment.

“We lost out on the gold (medal) by not tak­ing ev­ery scor­ing op­por­tu­nity we were pre­sented with back in Cameroon. And that needs to change. We can­not go through the same thing each year.”

Asked what she hoped to get out of this friendly, El­lis said: “It’s al­ways good to play highly-ranked teams. Last year, we had an op­por­tu­nity to play the US and now France.

“They are in the top-three in the world. It’s good for us be­cause they play their matches at a higher level (than us).

“That level of high pres­sure helps us han­dle the de­mand­ing ex­pec­ta­tions that come with do­ing well at con­ti­nen­tal tour­na­ments such as the women’s Af­con.

“The plan is to play as many friendlies as we pos­si­bly can this year. be­cause next year will be a big year for us,” said El­lis.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.