Caretaker Ellis still doesn't know if she will ever get the Banyana coaching job on a permanent basis

31 May 2017 - 18:42 By Njabulo Ngidi
South African National Womens soccer coach Desiree Ellis during the South African National Womens soccer team media open day at UJ Sports Ground on January 17, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
South African National Womens soccer coach Desiree Ellis during the South African National Womens soccer team media open day at UJ Sports Ground on January 17, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Desiree Ellis is in the dark on how long she will serve as the Banyana Banyana interim coach‚ or whether she will get the job on a permanent basis.

South African Football Association (Safa) officials have dragged their feet in replacing Vera Pauw‚ whose last game in charge was on August 9 against Brazil in the Olympics Games in London.

This is worse than the six months Safa took to find Shakes Mashaba's replacement at Bafana Bafana.

While Safa were clear from the onset on the Bafana search‚ tabling a criteria that potential coeaches needed to meet and even revealing the list of names they had in mind – the association has been silent on what will happen with the Banyana coaching job.

“No one has spoken to me about it (since the 2016 African Women Cup of Nations that finished on December 3)‚” Ellis said.

“I am hoping that they decide soon because we also need to know what’s happening.

"I am preparing the team‚ players are getting used to what I want so hopefully the decision can be made soon. I might be the interim coach but I prepare without that interim coach tag on my mind.

"I also have to look at what’s happening in a few month’s and a year down the line.

"That’s why we had this little camp. Back home‚ I work as if I am doing the job on a permanent basis because you can’t have an interim and work as an interim.

"That’s what I am currently doing. At the end of the day it is up to the chair of the technical committee‚ Natasha Tsiclas and the CEO (Denis Mumble) to decide what’s going to happen.

"All I can do is to do the job that I have been asked to do.”

Ellis has been frank about her ambitions to take over the job on a fulltime basis.

But she struggled to make a compelling case in Cameroon‚ leading Banyana to a fourth place finish.

If the side repeats that in Ghana next year‚ they will not be going to the 2019 World Cup. Only the top three sides at the AWCON will represent the continent in France.

Banyana will disperse from the camp they have been in since Sunday on Thursday.

That camp allowed Ellis to look at a number of new players‚ including those who were spotted during the Sasol League road shows.

In the absence of competitive matches this year‚ Ellis will use the Cosafa Cup in Zimbabwe to help those players gel into the team. It helps her cause that it’s outside the South African borders.

“That’s important‚” Ellis said.

“Playing at home‚ you have the luxury of being in surroundings that you are familiar with.

"When you take players away from home‚ especially those who have never played overseas‚ you test their mind-set. That’s important‚ to see how they cope.

"If they can overcome that‚ than it shows that they can graduate to the next level.”

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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