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Women's World Cup

South Africa's coach assures fans ahead of Women's World Cup campaign

7:10 PM EDT 4/14/19
Desiree Ellis South Africa Banyana Banyana coach
A first ever Women's World Cup qualification is endearing fans support and their gaffer promises not to disappoint them

South Africa women head coach Desiree Ellis says her side will do their best to keep the fans' happy in their debut campaign at the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup in France.

Banyana Banyana secured their first ever qualification to the global showpiece in 25 years following a second-place finish at the 2018 African Women's Cup of Nations in Ghana.

Despite their uninspiring buildup to the competition, Banyana still enjoyed huge fans support in their farewell game against Jamaica and the 56-year-old has expressed her gratitude.

“We would like to thank the people of Durban for their outpouring support. Their presence made the job easier for us on the field," Ellis told Safa.net.

"We feel honoured to have played in front of such numbers because this is also what we should expect at the World Cup. We dare also not forget those who were unable to witness the game, but were with us in spirit, we say thanks to you too – this really means a lot.

"To the organisers, who worked tirelessly to ensure there were so many fans, thank you to you too. Gratitude also goes to our Association for arranging such a special opposition, whom we share so much in common with. A big thank you to our proud sponsors Sasol, who have been behind us all the way.

"One of the things he said was that ‘the crowd at the stadium was an indication that Banyana Banyana has changed the face of women’s football forever,’ and you don’t think about that until you visualise that a couple of months or years ago this was not possible.

“This was in history in the making for women’s football and I think future generations will look at our qualification to the first world cup and perhaps to this match as what turned things around for women’s football in South Africa – and we will forever be proud for having played such an important role.

"Now the challenge will be to better what we are doing and improve on what is still to come. On the overall, it was good to see so many smiling faces in our country, because that is the job of the national teams – to keep people happy. Thank you once again, South Africa. We are confident that we will travel the journey to France and back together.”

South Africa will be up against world champions, the United States in their next tune-up game billed for Califonia on May 12.