Ellis – Lack of Finishing Has Been A Challenge For Banyana

Lethabo Kganyago
April 8, 2022

Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis says the biggest challenge for the national senior women’s team is finishing and it is something they need to work on before the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Morocco this winter.

Ellis said this ahead of the team’s friendly with the Netherlands next week. Banyana assembled for camp and started preparations for the international friendly on Wednesday, their first game since the AWCON qualifiers against Algeria.

Ellis hopes that with the domestic South African league starting later this month this is something clubs can assist in addressing. 

“It has been an Achilles heel before and I thought it was sorted but with all due respect bearing in mind that the league has not started,” the coach told the media on Thursday.

“It was just pre-season so I don’t think any team would have concentrated on any finishing at all. I think as the players go into more games, more game-time etc., it will get better like everything else will get better. But that’s one area that needs to improve consistently.

“It is not just at the national team, we have urged club coaches to assist us in that aspect to make scenarios where they are under pressure because when you play in the league you are not as much under pressure, it is easy sometimes to convert.

“But the higher the level, the more difficult, they need to recreate those situations where players are under pressure to put the ball in the net. That’s the one area we will consistently work on,”

The coach is also pleased with the improved fitness levels in the squad ahead of this trip, admitting that the Dutch aren’t an easy opposition. 

“It is not an easy opponent, we played them in 2019, they have been to the World Cup as well, got to the finals, been to the Olympics,” she added.

“They have a top team they also have a new coach who joined the team after the Olympics. There’s a few things we need to work on, we need to be better in our defence combination play and of course, our finishing.” 

The team is expected to depart for the Netherlands on Friday with the match scheduled for Tuesday 12 April 2022. 

Banyana Announce Squad To Face Netherlands

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