Desiree Ellis has placed confidence in her Banyana Banyana side clinching the next edition of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon).
After finishing as runners-up in the 2018 Awcon in Ghana, Banyana head coach Ellis has set her sights on lifting the Awcon title in 2022 as the 2020 edition has been cancelled by Caf due to ‘due to challenging condition’.
“The next tournament has been increased from eight to twelve countries. The format will obviously change and that will make it even tougher, but it will take similar planning and focus to first qualify and then to put in a better effort to win it in 2022 which by the way also doubles up as a 2023 World Cup qualifying tournament,” said Ellis.
“They [Banyana] were focused on the plan but their execution of the plan said it all and got us through to the final and subsequently qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. We always speak about teamwork.
“And you can’t forget the behind the scenes work done by the technical team, medical team and the rest of the support staff. We have to surpass that to qualify for the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023,” added Ellis.
In recent weeks, a big number of South African women players have been securing overseas moves and Ellis says that will advance Banyana’s mission of being the African Champions.
“This has just been incredible and beyond my wildest imagination. I am almost afraid to blink because when I wake up in the morning, there is another player signed up.
“The experiences they will now bring to Banyana Banyana will be immense and hopefully, this will help raise the levels in the team to greater heights,” she said.
“I remember going to the 2016 Awcon in Cameroon and facing the likes of Cameroon and Nigeria who had about 80 per cent of their squad playing abroad and you could see the experience in their teams during certain situations. We are now possibly in a position to also bring similar experiences to Banyana Banyana,” concluded Ellis
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi