After being given a weekend off, Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana are back in camp to resume with their preparations for the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations set to kick off later this month (17 November to 1 December) in Ghana.
The players got the chance to return to their clubs and play for them during this break from national team duties. They will resume training this afternoon (5 November 2018).
“We are engaging with all the take holders because we felt there was not enough time to complete the Sasol League, with most of the players from in the squad. I am glad now that is all behind us we can look forward to the final two weeks of preparation without any challenges,” said Ellis.
“We also thought we should give the players that could not be playing some time off so they can recharge their batteries because we are now entering a very crucial period as far as preparations are concerned – the time is ticking closer and closer to the start of the tournament.”
The squad played a practice match against boys from the School of Excellence on Friday, 2 November – a clash which head coach Desiree Ellis says she learnt a lot from.
“Absolutely, it was a vital exercise which gave us a chance to see where we could be lacking so we rectify it before going to the tournament. This was a great opportunity to try out several combinations and formations in the game, and at the same time monitor some players in a game situation,” said Ellis.
“I must admit some players made it even more difficult for the technical team to decide on the final squad for the tournament with their performance, and I like that because that means we will only select the best to represent the country in this important tournament which also doubles as a World Cup qualifier“ said Ellis.
The final squad of 21 players will be announced on Wednesday, 7 November.
Banyana Banyana will depart for Ghana on Friday, 9 November, and will play an international friendly match against the host nation on Sunday, 11 November at the Accra Sports Stadium.
South Africa has been drawn in Group B alongside Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia, while Ghana will take on Cameroon, Mali and Algeria in Group A.