Banyana crowned champions: coach Elis says it's moment her young squad will never forget
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said being crowned the winners of the Cosafa Women’s Championship trophy on Saturday is a moment her young squad will never forget.
The South African national women’s side clinched a historic fourth consecutive Cosafa Women’s Championship title by beating Botswana 2-1 in the final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from Sibulele Holweni and Gabriela Salgado saw Banyana claim their seventh Cosafa Women’s’ Championship title and the fourth in-a-row which is a record.
The win also saw the South African women’s team go unbeaten in competition.
There were not as many familiar faces in this year’s Banyana squad as in previous years with only six players returning from the 2019 combination.
However‚ the young players coach Ellis picked proved their worth and continued from where the senior players left off.
“I think if I look back at all the Cosafa’s since 2017 we had 10 new players back then who got their first medals‚” Ellis said.
“In 2018 we had new players who got their medals‚ in 2019 and in 2020.
“I say to the players all the time go out and make your mark. Go out and be remembered‚ go out and raise your hand and now we have a headache (when to comes to player selection) but‚ we have a good headache because it has made our core group bigger.
“The celebrations for the players I think it will go on and on because I think this is something that you will never forget.
“I mean this is an opportunity that you dream of playing for the national team and now you have not only played but you have a gold medal.
“I think if they really look back at what they have achieved it’s a moment to remember. We had 25 days in our training camp to prepare after being out for seven months.
“I have to applaud the players‚ they are the key role players here.”
Ellis‚ said her players put in the work and they were pushed by the fitness trainer along with the technical team.
“We have really worked hard. The analyst was spot on with all the games.
“We stuck to the game plan half and half in the final but when we did move the ball around we created a lot of opportunities.
"The assistant coach was fantastic‚ I can mention each and every one from our support group because we are a team.”
Banyana speedster Hildah Magaia was named Player of the Tournament and Holweni won the Golden Boot after scoring eight goals.