Desiree Ellis says their task as the interim technical team of Banyana Banyana is to set the bar even higher than where it is.

Desiree Ellis says their task as the interim technical team of Banyana Banyana is to set the bar even higher than where it is.

Ellis was speaking to the media after the South African Senior Women’s National Team’s training session in Randburg, Johannesburg.

The squad is preparing for an international friendly match against Egypt on Saturday, 22 October 2016 at Dobsonville Stadium.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

Ellis has been given the post of head coach of Banyana Banyana on an interim basis and is assisted by Maud Khumalo and Cheryl Botes.

She says it’s dream come true for her.

“When you are young you dream of playing for your national team, and for me it happened when I was 30. Then you dream to coach your national team and it’s more than a dream come true that it has happened, I am living the dream. I would like to say thank you to SAFA for having the faith in me, not only myself but also Maud Khumalo and Cheryl Botes, who are part of the technical team. We will try to take the team forward,” said Ellis.

The former Banyana Banyana player and captain says she believes in her abilities.

“If I didn’t believe I wouldn’t be here, and when I talk about belief I can take you back to Equatorial Guinea in 2015. After we drew here at home, everybody thought that was it, we were not going to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. But as a group we believed, and because of that belief we knew in the first 20 minutes that we were not going to lose. You have to have belief, and if you don’t have it, you have nothing,” added Ellis.

“The only way you can change the mentality of those who don’t believe in us is to get good results, and get the team to play positive football, to win matches. In life you will always have people who do not believe, you will always have people who don’t have faith in you but as a player I have been dropped three or four times in the national team, and the attitude I showed to get into the team, to go on and captain the team – I have that attitude in life as well because I cannot change things I am unable to change but I will control the ones I can change.”

Ellis, who worked with former coach Vera Pauw for more than two years, says she learnt a lot from the Dutch.

“During my playing days we just did things, but what I have learnt from her is that everything comes down to the small details. I spoke to her the other day and she said, jokingly, that I should not try to be her. She went on to say I know you can do it. I had a fantastic relationship with her,” added Ellis.

“We obviously cannot throw away what former coach Joseph Mkhonza did in 2012 because he set the pace. Vera Pauw came in and set the bar a bit higher, and now the challenge for us is to set it even higher – that is what we want to do, we want to get South African to highest level.”

Ellis is confident they will do well against Egypt on Saturday.

“Every coach wants to win their match, but at the end of the day you also want to see positive signs on the field, are we playing together as a team because teamwork is very important – we can get the result playing well, and sometimes you have to play ugly to win. But the fact is players are entertainers so sometimes it is important that they play decent football for all the people that come and watch.”.

Entry to the match is free