Ellis: Players who come in must step up

Banyana Banyana coach, Desiree Ellis, shares her thoughts about preparations for two friendly matches against United States of America.

The South African women’s national team will face the U.S. women’s national team in two friendly matches in Cincinnati on Friday, 21 September and in Chicago on Monday, 24 September.

Hildah Magaia did not travel due to medical reasons, Sibulele Holweni was ruled out due to an injury while Noko Matlou was unable to travel due to Visa challenges.

“The first day is always a difficult day, especially after the long travel, but I think we had a good night,” said Ellis.

“Everyone looks enthusiastic and excited to be together again, and to be playing again. At the start of the training session, the longer we went, the better we got in terms of moving the ball around.

“It is extremely hot, obviously not the weather we are used to but I think we have done really well today.

“We always knew that this game would come soon after the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup (in Australia and New Zealand) and the league has only been on the go for two weeks, so we went with players that have played regularly.

“And with withdrawal in certain positions due to injury, we had to fill those positions and with the players that have come in now, it’s an opportunity for them to raise their hands.

“We always say players who come in must step up so that we see whether we can take them on our journey or not.”

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