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Banyana All Assembled In Nigeria

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis is pleased to have a full squad assembled in Nigeria, after all the overseas based players joined up with the team ahead of the Aisha Buhari Cup.

The foreign-based contingent had all arrived by Tuesday morning, and Ellis says they are now getting down to work ahead of their first game, against Ghana on the 17th.

Ellis added that they’ve received a great welcome since arriving in Nigeria, and they are looking forward to the tournament.

“It was a very long trip, we had a few delays, but glad that we arrived,” Ellis told SAFA media.

“A couple of good night’s sleep will do us wonders. Yes, Thembi was the last one to arrive early hours this morning. And we’re happy to have the likes of Refiloe Jane, who we haven’t seen since November 2019, as well as Linda, who hasn’t been with Banyana. So really excited to have them. Hilda, who we saw at the Cosafa Cup in 2020 is also back with the squad, Janine as well, and Thembi of course. So we just happy that everyone’s in camp.

“It was good to see them at the breakfast table this morning, everybody excited that the players have all come in. And the players who haven’t seen each other for quite some time, especially the overseas-based players, it was really good to be able to see the smiling eyes, you know, under the masks. But we really looking forward to it.

“And we will start with our with our first training session (yesterday) to get ready for our first game on the 17th against Ghana. But been really welcomed by the Nigerians at the airport, as well as the president of the Nigerian FA, Mr. Pinnick was here to to meet us, as well as a delegation of the High Commission.

“So it was really also great to see some familiar South African faces, but we thank the Nigerian Football Association, especially the president, who welcomed us when we arrived at the hotel, and we’re looking forward to the tournament.”