6 February 2023 – Sasol Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has announced her squad for this month’s Turkish Women’s Cup.
The tournament will be held from 13-23 February 2023 and the participants are hosts Turkey, Banyana Banyana, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zambia.
Ellis said she will use the matches against Turkey on Wednesday 15 February 2023, Uzbekistan on 18 February and and Venezuela on 21 February to address some of the shortcomings she identified during her team’s friendly internationals against Brazil and Australia last year. Ellis’ charges suffered back-to-back defeats to Brazil (0-3 and 0-6) at home in South Africa in September, and then lost 1-4 to Australia in London in October last year.
“When you look at the Brazil and Australia games last year, I think individually and defensively we were found wanting. We have got to be better,” she said after announcing her squad on Monday (6 February 2023).
“Any team’s foundation is built on a good defense. Before we were very good defensively and we knew we would get a chance or two and we would score. So we have got to be better in that department.”
Ellis also sent condolences to Turkey after a devastating earthquake reportedly killed more than 1,900 people and left thousands injured in the country.
Sasol Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship, Nozipho Mbatha, wished the South African senior women’s team the best of luck in the Turkish Women’s Cup. “We wish Coach Desiree Ellis, the technical staff and the Banyana Banyana squad that has been selected to represent the country in the Turkish Women’s Cup all the best. We are all excited as this tournament will kick-start the team’s road to the World Cup taking place in July – August this year.
“Banyana Banyana needs all the support they can get once again, and Sasol encourages all South Africans to rally behind them. Each player in the team has a story to tell dating back to their Sasol League days, to conquering Africa and now to competing with some of the world’s best teams. This is the living the impossible sentiment that we always allude to and now we implore them to play their hearts out in Turkey and make us proud.”