Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said the award of Women’s African Coach of the Year can be attributed to the tremendous support from team members. Picture: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/REUTERS
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said the award of Women’s African Coach of the Year can be attributed to the tremendous support from team members. Picture: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/REUTERS

I’m still struggling to absorb the memorable moment, says award-winning Banyana coach

By Vincent Cruywagen Time of article published Jan 9, 2020

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Cape Town - Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said the award of Women’s African Coach of the Year can be attributed to the tremendous support from all the individual team members.

Ellis clinched this prestigious award at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards held at the Albatros Citadel Hotel in Hurghada, on the shores of Egypt's Red Sea, on Tuesday.

This was in recognition for guiding the women’s national team to its first-ever Women’s World Cup tournament in 2019, as well as ending as runners-up in the Women’s 2019 African Cup of Nations.

“I’m excited and still struggling to absorb the memorable moment. When a team excels there is always one member who stands out. I’m just glad that I was the one.

“My award was made possible by the entire Banyana Banyana team and I believe it was a team effort,” she said.

Ellis, who was born and raised in Heideveld and later moved to Hanover Park, reiterated that people should never think they are not good enough. She is a firm believer that people should strive for what they want to achieve in life.

“I’m staying for the past 40 years in Hanover Park and a lot of people were shocked when they heard where I stay.

“I’m also regularly asked: 'you are the national coach, so why don’t you move out of Hanover Park?'

“My presence in Hanover Park is an encouragement to the community. Know your words and value where you come from.

“It is not the place where you stay that shapes you.

“Look at Ronaldo, who grew up in the poorest neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and ended up becoming a leading striker in world soccer,” Ellis said.

She is due to arrive on Friday and will head to Hanover Park to celebrate with the people she enjoys living with. Then she heads back to Johannesburg on Monday to resume her duties as the national women's coach.

The Sports Ministry congratulated Ellis and wished her the best of luck as she continues with her career as the coach of Banyana Banyana.

@TheCapeArgus

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Cape Argus

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