BANYANA Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis is impressed with the standard of football dished up by the women of Mzansi at the Sasol League National Championships currently underway at Kabokweni Stadium in Mbombela.
The tournament started on Monday and will run until Saturday, when the champions will be crowned.
Ellis spent two and a half years as Vera Pauw’s assistant at Banyana and was appointed in the caretaker coach role in October last year. She is currently on the lookout for players to rope in ahead of Banyana’s busy schedule next year.
They start their year with two tough friendly matches against Sweden in Cape Town on 18 and 21 January.
The friendly matches will be followed by qualifiers for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
The Banyana mentor said the quality of teams at the championships improve every year.
“Teams have raised the standard. If you compare it to last year, only three teams are back. It shows players are doing their homework. And not only the players have improved, there’s more quality coaching too,” she stated.
Ellis revealed that there are some Queens who have impressed her and they stand a chance of getting the nod for the national team.
She said: “If players raise their hands we will give them an opportunity in the national team. Those who are part of Banyana should not relax and drop their standards or they will be replaced by those who are doing well.
“There are a couple of players not yet part of Banyana who have caught our eye. We will monitor them until the end of the week and see what happens. So far I am impressed!”
Ellis has made history by becoming the first South African woman to win the Cosafa Women’s Cup both as a player and as coach when Banyana clinched the tournament in Zimbabwe in September. She won it as a player in 2002.