Ellis happy to face top 10 sides

Banyana, who qualified for the World Cup by reaching the final of the Africa Women's Cup of Nations in Ghana, will play Netherlands in the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Inauguration Challenge at Cape Town Stadium on January 19, before taking on Sweden three days later.

Both sides are ranked in the top 10 of world football and will give Banyana a good test before they face Spain, China PR and Germany in their group at the World Cup, which will be played from June 7 to July 7.

“This year we had fantastic preparation for the 2018 Women’s AFCON and we spoke about tripling our efforts in preparing and executing our plans, and I believe this is another great start to be ready for the biggest stage in women’s football, the FIFA World Cup. We now know what the draw gave us, and we are all aware that it is not going to be easy, so we have to be methodical in our preparations,” Ellis told SAFA's website.

“The Netherlands are the current European champions and are ranked seventh in the world, while Sweden is just two places further back. We could not have asked for more appropriate preparation than this, more so because the two nations will also be at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and that makes for an interesting two matches.”

Banyana will then take on USA on May 12 in California, while SAFA are expected to organise more friendly matches to get them ready for their first ever World Cup.