Ellis wants Banyana well polished for Nations Cup

Poor finishing worries coach

11 April 2022 - 09:14
By Athenkosi Tsotsi
South African captain Janine Van Wyk with her Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images South African captain Janine Van Wyk with her Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis wants her charges to tackle their goalscoring problem when they take on the Netherlands on April 12 at the Kyocera Stadium in Den Haag.

Ellis was concerned about her team's inability to convert their chances during their final Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifying leg against Algeria in February. Even though they won the tie 3-1 on aggregate to book their place at the women's showpiece which will be hosted by Morocco in July, the SA women's team mentor was not satisfied with the conversion rate in the two legs.

With preparations for the Awcon well under way, Ellis has identified finishing as an aspect Banyana Banyana have to work on and fix before jetting off to Morocco. 

The game against the Netherlands presents a chance for the SA attack to test their finishing skills against one of the best teams in the world but more importantly puts Ellis in a position to implement tactical plans before the big tournament. 

“It’s really exciting to see everyone looking forward to the game. It's not an easy opponent. They have been to the World Cup as well; they got to the final and have been to the Olympics. They have a top team,” said Ellis. 

“There are a few things we need to work on. We need to be better in our defence, our combination play and, of course, our finishing. It [the finishing] has to get better. It's been the achilles heel before, when I thought it was sorted. 

“I think as the players get more game time it will get better, like everything else. That's one area that needs to consistently improve. When you look at  our football all-round, the chances that are created are missed. The onus is not just on us but the individual players to work on finishing,” she said. 

Ellis does not want it to be an excuse if the team does not do well in Morocco.

“Finishing is a lot about confidence and training because if you don't consistently train, when you get in situations you won't be sure on what to do. That's what we'll work on consistently leading to the Awcon. We can't, at Awcon, say we had chances and we didn't put them away,” Ellis said.