JOHANNESBURG – Despite Banyana Banyana currently topping the CAF rankings, former striker Portia Modise says interim coach Desiree Ellis is not yet ready to coach the national team on a permanent basis.
Ellis took over the reigns as a caretaker coach after the departure of Netherlands-born mentor Vera Pauw from the helm early last year.
The 54-year-old has since done well in her tenure so far, leading the team to the Cosafa Cup title in Bulawayo.
It was a record-breaking period for Ellis as she became the first South African, male or female, to win the tournament as a player and coach.
However, Modise remains adamant that there are a few things Ellis still needs to learn before she can take over permanently.
“She’s doing well in these smaller competitions,” Modise said.
“I say, because I also played in the competition that Desiree took (CosafaCup), that those are the smaller things, and we (in our time with Banyana), took it in the morning of the day.
“There are proper tournaments like the Afcon, World Cup and Olympics that need qualifiers. I think those are the difficult parts of being a coach in the national team because you need to do by all means to get to the tournament.”
Modise continued: “I still believe, it’s probably okay for her to be an assistant coach for now, they need to find another coach that she could still learn from. I was under Desiree, so I still feel she needs more experience.’’
However, it is quite clear that the current Banyana squad enjoys playing under Ellis as striker Thembi Kgatlana was nominated in the Women’s African Player of the Year category late last year.
Deputy captain Refiloe Jane has also called out to Safa to give Ellis the job on a permanent basis amid her recent achievements.
Safa have since prolonged the decision to hire a permanent coach and the association’s president Danny Jordaan has once again suggested that the decision on a new coach is imminent.
“The decision I’m sure will be taken within the next few days. I had already asked Natasha Tsichlas – the head of technical – and CEO Dennis Mumble to finalise this matter,” said Jordaan, who was speaking at Bantwana’s (Under-17 girls) World Cup Qualifiers send-off on Monday.