Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has heaped praise on Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies who were officially presented with their Hollywoodbets Super League trophy last Saturday.
Banyana Ba Style secured an entertaining 4-2 victory over Richmond United Ladies in their final fixture of the season, a match which excited the tactician who led South Africa to the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) title a few months ago.
“The game today was a very good advert for women’s football as both teams were involved in a high-octane clash which featured end-to-end action. Richmond Ladies were very formidable, but Sundowns Ladies raised their game after the break and their quality came to the fore. It was a hugely enjoyable match and just like the fans, I enjoyed every moment of it,” Coach Ellis stated.
Five Sundowns Ladies played a part as South Africa made history when they defeated host nation Morocco 2-1 to clinch their first-ever Women’s African Cup of Nations. Those five players were Andile ‘Sticks’ Dlamini, Karabo Dhlamini, Bambanani ‘Juice’ Mbane, Thalea Smidt and Melinda Kgadiete.
Coach Desiree who masterminded that incredible feat in Morocco believes the recent triumph of Sundowns Ladies provides more options ahead of next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“It is always a good headache to have several exciting players who are doing well for their clubs because it provides us with numerous options to choose from. We are consistently following the progress of the Hollywoodbets Super League and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have done very well in developing highly talented footballers. We have seen the progress of players like Lelona Daweti, Khutso Pila, Tiisetso Makhubela and several other impressive youngsters. The future looks very bright for Mamelodi Sundowns,” the WAFCON winning coach said.
In her closing remarks, the Banyana Banyana gaffer said, “Big congratulations to Coach Jerry Tshabalala, his technical team, the support staff and of course the players. I also commend the Chairman of the club for his vision, leadership and continuous support of women’s football in South Africa. Mamelodi Sundowns as a club have consistently raised the bar and I hope other teams follow suit and invest in women’s football in South Africa.”
It’s been a year to remember for Coach Desiree Ellis. Aside from guiding Banyana Banyana to their first Women’s African Cup of Nations trophy in their history, the 59-year-old tactician also earned the Women’s Coach of the Year for a third successive time at the 2022 Confederation of African Football Awards in Rabat.