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Africa Women Cup of Nations

Manchester United coach McCarthy hails Banyana Banyana’s Ellis

6:59 PM IST 31/07/22
Desiree Ellis, Banyana Banyana, July 2022
The former Bafana Bafana striker has spoken glowingly about South Africa women’s national team coach

Newly-appointed Manchester United forwards coach Benni McCarthy says the world is yet to see the best of Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.

Ellis recently inspired South Africa to their first ever Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title after the disappointment of finishing as runners-up on five occasions.

McCarthy believes the three-time Caf Women’s Coach of the Year is capable of taking charge of a European team.

“She’s only scratched the surface so far,” McCarthy told iDiski Times.

“I think Desiree’s got the ability to go and be one of the first to go and coach in Europe because she’s that good!

“She is that good, and I pray that that is her ambition that she wants to test herself at a much, much higher level and that one day she goes on and coaches one of the top teams in Europe or the top countries in Europe because that’s where she’s destined for.

“But yes, I just want for her to enjoy this moment, let it sink in and not to get ahead of herself, and I know she won’t, but just to enjoy the moment.”

Banyana Banyana’s next big challenge is competing at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

After a group stage exit at the last World Cup edition in France in 2019, McCarthy believes Ellis can guide South Africa to reach the final.

“Because she’s come a long way and not to enjoy this moment. So she has to enjoy it to the fullest. And then regroup, refocus, and then work towards the World Cup,” added McCarthy.

“Because making new history, becoming the first African team, not just South African team, to be in and amongst the finals, or semi-finals of the World Cup… That would be mesmerising, that will be memorable.

“And yes, so that’s where she needs to focus all the energy in getting South Africa to go to those lengths. But for now, she must just enjoy the moment and enjoy everything she’s achieved.”

As Ellis is celebrating Banyana’s recent Wafcon triumph, McCarthy has been appointed as Manchester United strikers’ coach.