Desiree Ellis, Banyana Banyan acting coach will utilize the friendly game against France set on January 22 in Reunion as a measure to see the rate of the team’s progress while at the same time looking at other things need to be added in the subsequent four years.
Even with Elli’s vague future, with Safa still to officially declare her as the permanent head coach, the past Banyana captain is working as if she already has the position – looking at the total picture instead of just seeing this forthcoming game as another friendly one.
It is important because Banyana won’t be appearing much in 2017 compared to this year, participating in the Olympics and the Africa Cup of Nations. The subsequent cycle begins in 2017 before the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana in 2018 which is the qualifying event for the 2019 World Cup in France. The coming four years will conclude with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
For the past four years, Banyana was not able to make much of an impression, so they will make sure to leave a mark and not just qualify in those three events.
The team came back from the Olympics empty-handed, while finishing fourth in the AWC in Cameroon due to the teams poor display in the game. Banyana did not even get qualified for the 2015 World Cup.
To recover, Rhoda Mulaudzi, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies’ strong and mobile striker, has been enlisted into the team to bring the much required firepower during the game with France. Malaudzi was not able to join the team in the AWC. Andisiwe Mgcoyi and Jermaine Seoposenwe who both played in the AWC remains in the team while former team captain Amanda Dlamini will have no place in the squad.
Ellis clarified that even if those players are not joining the current squad, they are totally out. They are still in the national team but for the moment she has to make sure that they have a strong foundation for the future.
She further said that everyone already know what these players can offer so it is best to try others in order to achieve the best team members.
The squad is composed of 22 members against France with most players appeared in the AWC who made an impact at the Sasol League National Championship earlier this month in Mossel Bay. The new faces during the game were Gabriela Salgado and Zenhle Chabaku.
Finally, Ellis consider this game with France as an experiment to see how deep does the team is as a country and this event is the best time to start the process of mapping the way forward.
Banyana is set to be into camp for the next two weeks, but the team players were given guidelines to follow before flying to Reunion, a French territory just off the seaboard of Madagascar.