South African women senior national team coach Desiree Ellis will use the Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Association) Cup to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers.

Banyana Banyana are fresh from the FIFA World Cup in France where they were knocked out in the group stages few weeks ago.

They will be defending the title they won last year, and are paired in Group A alongside Malawi, Comoros and Madagascar after the draw was made at Cosafa headquarters in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Ellis is expected to give young players a chance to play in the Cosafa Cup that will be hosted in Port Elizabeth in August.

Some of the senior players who took part at the world cup are also expected to take part according to Ellis.

Banyana did not have a good debut world cup after they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Spain, 1-0 loss to China and a humiliating 4-0 defeat against Germany.

There were reports that Ellis did not get along with some of the senior players such as Leandra Smeda and Jermaine Seoposenwe, but she denied it.

Banyana also won the tournament in 2017 in Zimbabwe. Captain Janine Van Wyk is looking to use the tournament to regain their confidence. The team has not won a single match in 2019.

Banyana will come into the tournament having played against the very best countries at the World Cup.

They have also taken part in both the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Van Wyk says they are under pressure to win the tournament again.

Former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs player Brian Baloyi was also present at the draw. He says the tournament is important to help the women’s football grow.


– Report by Vincent Sitsula