'Be the best that you can' - Desiree Ellis tasks African women in football coaching

Refiloe Jane and Desiree Ellis, coach of South Africa
The Banyana Banyana gaffer has urged her female colleagues on the continent to work hard to be the best

South Africa coach Desiree Ellis has urged women in football coaching, especially in Africa to keep striving to excel in the game.

The Banyana Banyana gaffer was named the reigning Africa Women's Coach of the Year after her achievements, including a qualification to the maiden Women’s World Cup in 2018.

The 55-year-old lauded Safa for trusting women coaches with its jobs and offering them technical support to thrive, while she tasks female coaches to develop themselves.

"We don't do things for awards and rewards but if the team does well then, this is the result," Ellis told Goal.

"I must salute the players, the support staff, Sasol and Safa for their continued support. Our Federation has taken a leap of faith in appointing local female coaches for all our women's national teams and our U17 team qualified for the recent World Cup in Uruguay.

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“At the Cosafa Cup tournament, all the coaches were also female. It gives hope to all the aspiring female coaches that nothing is impossible. Coaches like Uche Eucharia and Florence Omagbemi, who won AWCON as players and coaches inspire us. Clementine took Cote D'ivore to the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

"To women coaches across Africa, I will tell them to be the best that you can be and do the best that you can do. Know your worth and your value. Make sure you assemble a technical team that supports what you want to do and that they have a hardworking work ethic.

“The players are just as important as they need to buy in the vision. Continue to educate yourself because football as a game evolves all the time. Never be afraid to seek advice. We are very fortunate that we also have the support of all our national team coaches, our education department as well as our technical directors so we can always have a sit down and discussion."