Ellis has a Desire(e) to impress Safa
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.