PARALIMNI - Despite their poor results, Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis insists their Women’s World Cup preparations remain well on track.
After finishing stone last in their group following a draw and two losses, Banyana will face Finland for the second time in the tournament when the sides meet in the ninth place play-off match in Paralimni on Wednesday.
“Everyone goes into a tournament with the intention to win it, and so did we, but it was not to be – however, we also came here to prepare for the World Cup, and we got good competition from the teams we came up against. I am quite excited that we managed to achieve our objectives, which have made this a worthwhile exercise,” said Ellis.
“We were trying different players and different combinations, so that we also know what kind of back-up we have coming off the bench.
“Being this close to the World Cup, this was a very crucial exercise. Also, all but three players – goalkeeper Victoria Muroa, defender Noko Matlou and the injured Koketso Tlailane, have not yet played in the tournament. In short, we got to see almost every player in the squad in different situations – what more can you ask for?”
For Ellis, her technical team and the players looking to make a final impact for selection to the Women’s World Cup, the preparations continue along the lines of competing against different continental styles when they face off against Jamaica on April 7 in Durban.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two nations, who are also preparing for their first World Cup tournament.
African News Agency (ANA)