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Desiree Ellis delighted with Banyana Banyana's preparations ahead of Fifa Women's World Cup

14:15 GMT 24/01/2019
Desiree Ellis South Africa Banyana Banyana coach
Banyana Banyana are filled with confidence as they ready themselves for the showpiece event later this year

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is delighted to see her side kicking into gear as the 2019 Fifa World Cup quickly approaches.

The South Africa national women’s team recently held Sweden to a goalless draw. This is no mean feat considering that the Europeans are amongst the top-ranked teams heading into the global showpiece event.

“They (the players) just think that nothing can stop them and I think that confidence is not overconfidence. It’s just belief more than anything because if you look at the rankings, it’s a no contest,” Ellis was quoted as saying by IOL.

“If you look at Thembi (Kgatlana), she doesn’t care who is in front of her. She just feels like she can do anything and so do the rest of the players and I think that has rubbed off on the newer players,” she added.

The draw comes as a huge morale booster after Banyana previously suffered a 2-1 defeat against the Netherlands despite giving a good account of themselves.  

“I think one win will get you through to the next round because four out of the six third-placed teams go through to the next round. The first game is the most important one and I think that would set the tone for the rest of the tournament,” she said.

“And then from there on anything is possible. We’ve seen teams going to the knockout stages. Who would have thought that Croatia would get to the (men’s) final? So we have a belief that anything is possible,” she expressed.

Meanwhile, Ellis and her troops will continue their preparations later in February as they take part in the Cyprus Cup where they will be tested against the likes of Czech Republic, North Korea and Finland.