Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis believes the Buhari Cup is the perfect opportunity to test her troops’ fitness levels ahead of the Cosafa Women’s Championship.
The Aisha Buhari Cup is set to be played in Lagos, Nigeria, from September 13-21 and Ellis’s charges are in camp at the Safa Technical Centre (Fun Valley) in Johannesburg.
“It’s like a mini Awcon itself. It is an opportunity to test ourselves after having missed a lot of football over the last 18 months both locally and internationally,” said Ellis.
“It’s also an opportunity to have a look at some of the overseas-based players that we have not seen since 2019 due to Covid-19 protocols and quarantine regulations in the countries where they are currently playing.”
The Cup also serves as preparation for the Women’s Championships. As holders, Banyana will be looking to defend their title when the tournament starts at Nelson Mandela Bay from September 28 to October 9, but first must head to west Africa where they will take on Cameroon and Ghana in the Buhari Cup.
South Africa are in Group A along with Malawi and Angola.
“It was good to see the players back after such a long while, you can see they have been playing, the level of fitness was reasonably what we expected. The first session was just a start-up,” added Ellis.
“We will start to concentrate a little bit more on specifics and then obviously conditioning and getting ready for travel [to Nigeria].
“I was very happy with the new players that have come in, they don’t look like they are too far behind even though some of them it is the first time at camp.”
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By FARPost Reporter