Banyana Banyana will be seeking a fourth COSAFA Women’s Championship trophy win in a row when they contest the 2020 edition in nelson Mandela Bay from November 3-14.
It is very much a new-look squad for coach Desiree Ellis with the unavailability of her overseas-based stars, but with some exciting new talent to keep an eye on, there will be plenty for fans to enjoy.
Ellis has told The COSAFA Show her plans for the tournament in an exclusive interview in which she touches on a wide range of subjects.
“We have always used the COSAFA Women’s Championship as a chance to give new and young players an opportunity to see if they can rise to the occasion, play in international competition and give them the experience … we always say if you want to conquer Africa you first have to conquer your own region,” Ellis says.
“So we are using a number of players from the Under-20 team, and we have also recalled Gabriela Salgado who played in 2018.
“We also have some new caps such as [defenders] Karabo Makhurubetshi from Mamelodi Sundowns, and Xiluva Tshabalala, who we saw at the SASOL championships.
“But we also have players who went to the World Cup, such as our captain [goalkeeper] Andile Dlamini, and [defenders] Kaylyn Jordaan and Bongeka Gamede. Then there is the evergreen Mamello [Makhabane], who is the vice-captain of the team and Robyn Moodaly.
“We have a young group with a little bit of a mix of experience. Nine of the players that played at last year’s COSAFA Women’s Championship are now playing abroad, so we almost have a new squad for this year’s COSAFA.”
Ellis touches on their first round opponents and who the rivals for the title might also be, as well as the South African side that will compete at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that runs concurrently with the senior tournament.
Also on the show is legendary FIFA Coaching Instructor Fran Hilton-Smith, who has seen it all in the African game.
She gives her thoughts on the progression of women’s football on the continent and how she took Banyana Banyana from humble beginnings to turn them into an international force with very little support.