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Ellis impressed by attitude and effort of Banyana

Banyana Banyana landed safely in Amsterdam over the weekend for the international friendly against Netherlands and coach Desiree Ellis is confident her troops will produce a solid display.

The game will be live on SuperSport (Variety 3, 6.45 pm) on Tuesday evening.

Ellis says the mood in camp is positive and she is happy with the attitude and effort of players ahead of the game.

“I am impressed with the attitude and effort put in [by the players],” said Ellis.

“Now we just need to make sure we get this group together in the next couple of days, including the overseas players who will join us tomorrow, and get ready for Tuesday [when they face the Netherlands].”

“We are excited. It’s another opportunity for the players to test themselves, for us to test ourselves and try and improve on previous performances, and not just improve but to be able to see if the players have the mental capacity to push through,” added Ellis.

Banyana have only tasted defeat twice in their last 10 matches and Ellis is well aware that the Dutch, who are ranked fifth in the world will be a tough challenge.

And history is against Banyana as they have twice played the Dutch, losing both encounters. But Ellis will be more focused on the quality of performance rather than the outcome as Banyana prepare for the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Morocco in July.

“As mentioned previously, it has been six weeks since we played Algeria and you have seen the fitness levels have gone up remarkably, considering that the clubs have also been playing friendlies in preparation for the restart of the [domestic] league, which will commence when we return from the Netherlands,” declared Ellis.

The coach also offered insight into why she believes the weather conditions in the Netherlands will favour overseas-based players.

“The weather is completely different, it’s extremely cold, and I think it will suit our international-based players better because they are all coming out of winter and we are going into winter [here in South Africa]. We have to manage that over the next three days when we arrive before the game, but we are hoping it won’t become a factor.”

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