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Ellis sets sights on World Cup qualification

Banyana Banyana mentor Desiree Ellis has set her sights on winning the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) tournament and securing a place at next year’s World Cup.

Ellis on Monday revealed she had a positive headache when it came to deciding her final 23-member squad that will be heading to Morocco for the prestigious tournament.

The much-anticipated competition will run from 2-23 July 2022. South Africa are drawn in Group C, alongside rivals Nigeria, debutants Burundi and neighbours Botswana.

However, the two-time Caf Women’s Coach of the Year praised the players for the effort they had shown ever since reporting for camp in Johannesburg on Friday, 10 June 2022.

“I want to start off by giving a big thank you to the coaches out there for the fantastic job that they have done since the leagues have started,” said Ellis during a press conference on Monday.

“We had a good week and a half and with many of the overseas-based players joining us, many have stepped up. We had a good mix of youth and experience for the past week and a half.”

Meanwhile, Nozipho Mbatha, Sasol Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship Manager added: “I congratulate each player called up for this significant national duty. We have seen how these ladies have worked hard during their campaign to qualify for this important tournament, and each selected player deserves to be part of the squad.

“We are grateful for the team to have made it to this point. I implore them to go out there and play their hearts out because Sasol and other legions of fans will be watching them closely and cheering them on from home. As a South African, I want them to bring that cup home and secure that place to be a part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.”

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