Desiree Ellis wants her Banyana Banyana players to behave like adults and shoulder responsibility for themselves, which is why she won’t act like a ‘policewoman’ with them.
Banyana take on Norway next weekend in their final warm-up game before getting their first ever Women’s World Cup underway on June 8 against Spain, and the team is currently working hard in France to make sure they’re at the level they need to be at.
It’s going to be a tough task for the South Africans as they come up against some of the top national teams in the women’s game, but they have been preparing for the tournament for some time, and now have their full contingent in training as the head coach looks to make final decisions for that opening game in Le Havre in just under two weeks’ time.
Speaking to SAFA from France, Ellis said, “It was key for us to give them the responsibility… They’re adults, they know what’s at stake. So you’re not someone who’s a policewoman, but you want to make sure they know what’s at stake.
“They know what they’re working towards, and we always say, ‘You know, when you cheat, you cheat yourselves, you cheat your teammates’, and that’s not what they’re about.
“They’re having a bit of fun, but it’s serious business still. That’s what I like about this group. Even though they’re players, they’re also coaches.”
Banyana are currently nine games without a win since they beat Mali in the Women’s African Cup of Nations back in November, however Ellis will be eager to see what her troops can do now that they’re at full strength on a global stage.
The South Africans take on Norway at Stade Moulonguet in Amiens on Saturday night.