CAPE TOWN – She was the captain of Banyana Banyana and the interim coach, but now it’s finally confirmed – Desiree Ellis is the official head coach of the women’s national team.
The announcement was made by SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan at a press conference at Safa House in Johannesburg on Thursday morning.
Ellis, who hails from Salt River in Cape Town, guided Banyana to the Women’s Cosafa Cup title in Zimbabwe last December, but still waited to see if she would be made the permanent Banyana mentor after taking over from Vera Pauw.
With the tournament victory, Ellis became the first person to gain a winner’s medal as a player and coach.
There were rumours that another foreigner could be brought in above Ellis, who would continue as the assistant coach.
But now Jordaan and Safa have handed her the main job, and the 54-year-old’s mandate would be to try to qualify Banyana for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the World Cup and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Ellis earned 32 caps for Banyana Banyana as a midfielder between 1993 and 2002.