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Ellis – I Have Always Thought The Second Edition Would Be Better

After the second round of the 2021 SAFA National Women’s League (SNWL) Lethabo Kganyago reports that Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis is pleased with what she has seen so far. 

Ellis watched the Limpopo derby where First Touch Academy defeated rookies MaIndies Ladies 2-1 at Seshego stadium in Limpopo on Saturday. First Touch came from behind to cancel MaIndies’ Rapatsa Molepo’s 26th minute opener through Mosima Selepe’s header in the 56th minute. With the game looking like it would finish with a stalemate Tebogo Mnisi scored in her own net with three minutes left on the regulated clock to give the hosts a lead and ultimately the winner in the derby. 

Reflecting on the match Ellis said she picked the encounter because she expected a tough game and it delivered.

 “I could have gone to any other game around the country but I felt this being a Limpopo derby and MaIndies are newly promoted, I thought it was going to be a really tough match and it turned out to be a tough match, end to end stuff, I thought at the end a match winning save by the First Touch goalkeeper. I’m happy with the start of the season it shows that clubs have stepped up and I was really, really impressed by the Limpopo derby,” Ellis told iDiski Times.

The opening weekend produced 32 goals while the second week produced tight results that produced 22 goals. Ellis said she has always expected the second season to be better and tougher. 

“I have always thought the second edition would be better, would be tougher with a Champions League spot now up for grabs I think teams are going to go all out to be better. When you look at the halftime scores there were a lot of tight scores across the country teams trying to pick up points those that didn’t last week. I foresee it getting tougher because it looks like teams had a lot of time to prepare but there’s still a lot of rustiness having not played for more than a year,” added the former Banyana captain. 

Ellis had a workshop with the coaches of the 14 sides in the league before the campaign started and she believes from the matches she can see the benefits of consulting with the coaches. 

“We spoke about positional discipline, and I see a lot of teams are tactically better. We spoke about situations involving One vs One not just with individuals but also with goalkeepers like the goalkeeper made a fantastic save there at the end. We spoke about more management on the benches which we need to respect the players and I see management I see assistant coaches,” concluded the coach. 

The two time African Woman coach of the year says the workshops are not going to be exclusive to the SNWL but also the Sasol League as it is also a feeder to the national team.