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JOHANNESBURG-- Former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis has finally been appointed head coach of South Africa's senior national women's team, 15 months after she was appointed interim coach.

The South African Football Association (Safa) made the announcement at its headquarters in Johannesburg on Thursday. Ellis coached the team to Cosafa Cup glory in Zimbabwe last year with the team voted CAF Team of the Year under her mentorship.

Safa were cagey as to the reasons for appointing Ellis when it had repeatedly expressed a preference for a foreign coach with Ellis as understudy. Let's not celebrate the process but the announcement; Desiree is the head coach and what Desiree can also know is that we have shown confidence in her and we confirm that by appointing her, said Safa president Danny Jordaan.

With the Under-17 team, Bantwana, qualifying for the World Cup tournament for the second time on Sunday, Ellis believes success at the global tournament and Banyana winning the Women's African Cup of Nations competition (Afcon) are the priority.

We have a destination and that is definitely to qualify for the World Cup; it's not negotiable, we've already set goals and the Cosafa Cup was the first one," said Ellis.

Banyana Banyana assembled in Johannesburg on Thursday and departs for Cyprus on Friday to compete in the 12-nation Cyprus Cup tournament, involving Spain, Italy and Belgium among other countries.


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