The Guard

The Truth On Board


By Staff Reporter

BLOEMFONTEIN-Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is back on the road again scouting for talent for the national team. Ellis will be visiting Sasol League venues over the next couple of weeks to look out for players who could be added to the national team.

Banyana are scheduled to play the Netherlands in a friendly international in July ahead of the postponed qualifiers for next year’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco.

Ellis braved the Free State winter to scout for talent during the latest round of League matches staged at the University of Free State.

Ellis says the addition of a new sponsor for the national league is another step that will strengthen the women’s game in the country. And Ellis says the Sasol League continues to play its role.

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.

“We still have players in the national team that are still in the Sasol League. So it will always be there for us to go and have a look at. Because not everybody can play in the national league, not everybody plays there, and there are still some players that can take the step up. We have to give hope out there that we are not just looking at the top level which is the national league, we are looking at all players.”

Ellis’ presence at the Sasol League matches is a major boost to aspiring footballers and coaches alike. One of the coaches, Godfrey Tenoff also says the Sasol League is so helpful.

“It’s the sole promoter of football in South Africa. It’s the only competition that has been with us for more than 15 years. It has created Janine van Wyk, Desiree Ellis, the coaches as well.”

The Banyana coach also conducted a workshop, empowering the local Sasol League coaches. She was encouraged by the presence of a number of women coaches. Ellis will also visit other provinces, including KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape, as well as the North West in the next couple of weeks.