SAFA News – “Seeing the Head Coach of Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, sitting in the stands during our games, gives us nothing but hope about the future and shows us they also care for the Eastern Cape.”
Those are the sentiments of several Sasol League coaches who got the chance to meet Ellis in Gqeberha, during the third leg of her Provincial visits.
The Banyana Banyana mentor led them in a workshop on Friday (4 June 2021) and was also able to watch two matches on Saturday (5 June 2021) – both events took place at the Isaac Woolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele.
“Our province is underprivileged, and just seeing Coach Ellis visiting us, does wonders to us coaches as well as the players. This engagement helps a lot because we now better understand whether we are doing the right things or not,” said Terry Mrwerwe, City Lads Ladies coach.
“We have always wondered why our players are not in the national team, and a deeper discussion with Coach Ellis has indicated to us where we are going wrong. Our aim now is to put the guidance to good use and get down to business to fix the challenge we find ourselves in,” added Aljerome Malgas.
Ellis highlighted that the Eastern Cape players have made an exodus to Gauteng or other provinces to seek greener pastures – and it is up to the province to make sure they do everything they can to retain the services of those players.
“If you look at the national team, there are several players from this province, but they are now based in Gauteng or Western Province – Bambanani Mbane, Sibulele Holweni, to mention but a few. I must say, from the matches I spectated on this weekend, there is an abundance of talent and I was highly impressed by what was displayed. I will also pass some valuable information on to the U-17 and U-20 Head Coaches,” said Ellis.
Also watching from the stands was the SAFA Eastern Cape President, Mzimkhulu Fina, who was full of praise for the work done by Sasol and the South African Senior Women’s National Team Head Coach.
“We are delighted to see Coach Ellis visiting our Sasol League coaches and players because this is a great confidence booster for them – as you saw how enthusiastic they (coaches and players) were today. I am also glad that she has given them pointers on where to improve, so that, when we don’t have players in the national team, we know where we are going wrong,” said Fina.
“We will forever be grateful to Sasol for creating this opportunity to help provinces, in particular the Eastern Cape, to get up to speed with modern coaching trends from a national level. This is one engagement we will cherish for a long time and we are hopeful this is not a once off, given the impact.”
Sasol had this to say:
“This is the third Province that we are visiting – and we have seen that the challenges differ from province to province. What is key is that this initiative has opened a dialogue that will help with the development of collective solutions for the betterment of the women’s game. Women’s Football in South Africa is everybody’s business, and, as a collective – Sasol, SAFA, municipalities, communities, parents, school teachers, coaches and players – we can work towards a positive and sustainable future for the game,” said Somerset – Manager: Group Brand & Sponsorships at Sasol.