South-Africa

Safa may snub Ellis as Banyana coach

2017-10-01 06:02
WINNER: Desiree Ellis is an accomplished player and mentor. (Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix)
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South Africa's women's soccer team, Banyana Banyana, triumphed over their Zimbabwean opponents in a tough Cosafa Championship final on Sunday. Here are some little-known facts about the national women's team. Watch.

Johannesburg - Despite winning the Cosafa Women’s Championship last week, Banyana Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis may be overlooked for the job by the SA Football Association (Safa).

Many thought being the first South African to win the tournament as both a player and a coach would be enough to land Ellis the role on a full-time basis.

However, this may not be the case as the governing body is looking for someone with a higher level of coaching ­experience.

Dennis Mumble, Safa’s chief executive, said a few days ago that as much as the association appreciated what Ellis had achieved, it was not a foregone conclusion that she would get the job.

In fact, he ­revealed that Ellis was third on the short list.

Mumble did concede that Ellis’ achievement put them under pressure, but was quick to add that it was not only about the championship.

“As much as we congratulate her for her achievements, we have to ask ourselves what it will take to succeed at international level; that’s our concern.

“It is also about the CAF Women’s Championship and it is important to not only qualify for the World Cup, but to do well there and coach at that international level, and that’s what we are lacking.

"We have to be honest with ourselves and ask if we stack up against the US, Sweden, Germany or even Japan – the powerhouses of women’s football. We still have way to go before we say we are there”.

Mumble said they were looking at two international prospects as well as Ellis for the vacant position.

“We were given a task to negotiate with three people, but the first choice decided to back out after we had concluded negotiations.

"It started well, but then it was back and forth; sometimes you think you have done it, but things happen. I am talking to the second candidate this week.”

Next mentor

About Ellis, Mumble said: “In our discussions, we agreed that, no matter what happens, even if she is not successful, she will remain part of the national team set-up".

He said he hoped that the next mentor would be the last foreigner to lead the team. Dutch coach Vera Pauw led the team until after the Rio Olympic Games last year.

Ellis has been holding the fort since then.

He did not say when Safa would ­appoint the new coach.

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