Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis overcome with emotion
Posted: 5 January 2018 Time: 09:30
Banyana Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis was overcome with emotion when her side was named the 2017 CAF Women’s National Team of the Year.
Banyana scooped the accolade last night at the CAF Awards in Accra ahead of Ghana and the Nigeria U-20 team.
“We all did it, I am overwhelmed. I knew we stood a good chance of winning this award but when it actually happened all I could say to myself was ‘wow’, and it just brought tears to my eyes. I’m really lost for words this time,” said Ellis.
“But this is an incredible achievement for women’s football in South Africa and a big thank you must go to our sponsor Sasol for the continued support and to SAFA for giving us the opportunity to compete internationally. We want to thank all the coaches and players of Banyana and Sasol League teams because each and everyone of them played a big part in the growth of women’s football in this country.”
South Africa’s nomination came as a result of winning the COSAFA Women’s Championship in Zimbabwe in September 2017 for a record fourth time.
There was sad news however in the category of Women’s Player of the Year, where Banyana striker Thembi Kgatlana was nominated but lost out to Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala. The other contender was Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene of Cameroon.
“I am sad for Thembi and I was confident she was going to win it, but I guess it was not her night. I was really hoping she would follow in the footsteps of Noko [Matlou] who won it in 2008. But she is young, and I believe this will drive her to even greater heights. I believe just being nominated into the top three she is already a winner – because it is not many who get to receive this accolade of being nominated for such a big award,” added Ellis.