On Wednesday, 31 July, 2019, the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship tournament will kick off until 11 August, 2019, as the regional showpiece will take place in Port Elizabeth for the second time running.
Going into this tournament, Banyana Banyana are going for a hattrick of titles, after lifting the 2017 and 2018 trophies. The South African women’s team previously debuted on the world stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in June this year and will be looking to build on the foundation that they had set out in France.
The national team arrived back from their break to head into their first training session on Monday, 29 July, 2019 as the preparations for their title defence began.
Ellis on Team Fitness following their Return
Head Coach Desiree Ellis spoke out to South African Football Association’s media about her squad and what she thought about their first day back in the national set-up.
“I was really impressed. We did send out training programmes two weeks prior to the tournament, but, you know, training on your own doesn’t always give you that opportunity because you can only push yourself as hard as you can but I was impressed,” she said.
“The first part of the session, there was a bit of a struggle obviously with players getting used to being back in camp. As the session went on, I think it got much better.”
Banyana will be going into the first match of the tournament on Wednesday, 31 July, against Comoros Islands and have had only two days to prepare for their opening match.
“Ja, that’s why it was important how we managed the sessions, so it was, just to give people (players) a feel of having the ball at your feet again and being able to play.
“But, I think that with the training that they have put in over the last two weeks, you can see that the fitness levels is quite high and we will only be able to see how high it really is when we play that competitive match. For us, we are happy with what we saw,” she concluded.
Banyana Banyana COSAFA CUP Fixtures:
Wed 31 July, 15h30: South Africa vs Comoros (Wolfson Stadium)
Fri 2 August, 15h30: South Africa vs Malawi (Wolfson Stadium)
Mon 5 August, 12h45: South Africa vs Madagascar (Wolfson Stadium)
Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis pictured ahead of the team’s departure for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Photo: gsport