Bafana Bafana

Payback time for coach Ellis

2016-11-13 06:07
BanyanaBanyana training. (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Desiree Ellis failed to win the CAF African Women Championships as a player in 2000, when, as captain, she led Banyana ­Banyana to a second-place ­finish on home turf.

The question now is: Can the 53-year-old former midfielder do it as a coach and succeed where the likes of Vera Pauw, Joseph Mkhonza, Augustine Makalakalane and Fran Hilton-Smith ­failed?

Since they first participated in the tournament in 1995, Banyana have been ever present in the event, which is now called the ­Africa Women Cup of Nations.

However, they have always come short of winning the continental showpiece.

Ellis, who captained the team in the 2000 edition at home, will lead Banyana in the 10th edition of the tournament in Cameroon as a caretaker coach following the departure of Pauw.

The SA Football Association has also roped in national Under-17 coach Molefi Ntseki as an ­adviser to the team.

Ellis hopes they can go the ­extra mile this time around in ­Yaounde, Cameroon, where they will be based.

Banyana warmed up for the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Zimbabwe in a friendly played on Thursday in Harare.

A Thembi Kgatlana brace and a goal from Leandra Smeda gave Banyana the win.

Banyana will hope for the same kind of performance when the two countries meet again on Saturday in their opening fixture of the tournament.

Banyana will then play the hosts three days later before wrapping up the group stage against Egypt.

The former captain had her first taste of being in charge when her charges won 3-1 against Egypt in an international at the Dobsonville Stadium last month.

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