The Banyana Banyana gaffer was named best women’s coach in Africa and the forward has revealed the secret behind her success
Reigning African Women Player of the Year Thembi Kgatlana says South Africa coach Desiree Ellis excels because she understands the country’s ‘special way of playing soccer’.
Ellis was interim coach of Banyana Banyana after replacing Vera Pauw in 2016 before she was appointed on a full-time basis in February 2018 by South Africa Football Association.
Her appointment looks to have paid off as they cruised to a COSAFA Cup success and a second-place finish at the Africa Women Cup of Nations plus a historic Women’s World Cup qualification.
And the 22-year-old Houston Dash forward extols the coaching qualities of Ellis, while describing her as a ‘good coach’ after being named 2018 African Women’s Coach of the Year.
“I think that her [Desiree Ellis] impact has been quite great for the team [Banyana Banyana],” Kgatlana told Goal.
“She has been a player herself and knows what it was like to be at Africa Women Cup of Nations and to actually qualify the team for the Women’s World Cup was amazing.
“I know she would have loved to achieve this as a player, but it didn’t happen. Glad it happened now while she’s the coach after learning a lot under Vera Puaw as assistant coach before she took over from her.
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“One thing I understand about her is that she is a South African coach and she understands that South Africa has a special way of playing soccer.
“It is the reason that make it easy in the team because she knows what to expect from us and we know what to expect from her.
“She is a good coach and builds confident into the players and use the strength of her players to make tactics for games on the pitch and get results.”