The South African women’s national team clinched their fourth COSAFA Women’s Championship title in a row this year and Head Coach Desiree Ellis has reflected on how much her team has elevated themselves over the past few years.
Banyana maintained a flawless run in this year’s campaign, going unbeaten until the final whistle when they secured a 2-1 win over Botswana in the final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
“I am super excited. It is never about revenge, it is a different game, it is a different group and situation. We challenge the team, we challenge the group. Many of them have not been in this position and for them to have won this medal I am super happy,” Ellis told the media.
“You always want to have that (selection) headache, there is a lot of competition in places and I think it will raise the level of the team because the competition obviously, players push each other and they go up. This has been fantastic, a lot of players raise their game. I mean Hilda was fantastic throughout the tournament, so those players are putting a lot of pressure of the other players playing abroad and it makes for an even better national team.”
“I think, if I look back at all the COSAFA’s since 2017, we had 10 new players back then who got their first players, in 2018 we had new players who got their first players and same with 2019, now with 2020 - I say to the players all the time, go out and make your mark, go out and be remembered and raise your hand.”
“The celebration for the players I think will go on and on because this is something you will never forget; your first medal; this is the opportunity you dream of for the national team and now you not only played but you also have a gold."