Des Ellis Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - If a tournament could be won by a number of scoring opportunities you create during every match you get to play in, then Banyana Banyana could have walked away as Africa Women Cup Nations champions in Cameroon last year.

This is the view of Banyana’s interim coach Desiree Ellis, who feels the women’s senior national team cannot continue with this pattern squandering scoring opportunities in game situations, if they are to qualify for their first ever Fifa Women’s World in next year’s Afcon edition.

Banyana missed out on that chance back in 2014 where they finished outside the top three Caf spots for teams that were to represent Africa at the 2015 World Cup in Canada the following year.

Ellis admitted she would hate to go through the same feeling, should her side qualify for next year’s women’s Afcon in Ghana, but later miss out on a top three finish and a World Cup spot again.

“We don’t want to go through what we went through back in 2014,” Ellis said. “We created so many scoring opportunities in that campaign. But, we were just unfortunate not to go through. The same thing happened to us last year (the 2016 Afcon edition). We finished fourth again. If a tournament could be won by a team which created most scoring chances, I truly believe that we could have been that team.

“We just need to sort out our attack because defensively, we are organised. We can easily shift from 3-5-2 to 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-3-2 at any given moment during a match. Our defence is too solid. We just need to solve this problem we have in the final third and we’ll be fine.”

To help solve that problem, the Banyana legend has called seven new players into camp to train with her senior side, where she’ll be monitoring their progress for the remainder of this week.

Photo: Muzi Ntombela/Backpagepix

Ellis stated that she was impressed with the type of talent she has brought in so far, and will have more options to consider when it comes to national call-ups in the near future.

The players that the Banyana coach has called for assessments are: Koketso Tlailane (TUT-PTA), Nkoikoi Mabina (Kanatla Ladies), Kholosa Biyana (UKZN), Lucinda Croy (Santos FC), Thato Lesoso (UJ) , Zanele Nhlapo (Mamelodi Sundowns) and Philisa Mjambane (Red Roses)

“We really need to find strikers who can score for us,” Ellis said. “Unfortunately you cannot bring in a lot of them because there has to be a balance within the team. But these are the players we’ve been monitoring for the past year or so. It was extremely difficult to bring them in then because we had a very busy programme to deal with.

"The intention of blending them with the senior guys is that want them to realise that playing for the national team is not easy.

"We also want them to realise that they are going to work a whole lot harder, if they are to make the cut in the near future again.”


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The Star

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