Botswana side Double Action Ladies are not daunted by their difficult group at the 2021 TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League l COSAFA Qualifier from August 26 to September 4, and are preparing to go all the way and win the inaugural competition.
Double Action were drawn in Group A alongside South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, Lesotho Defence Force and Eswatini’s Manzini Wanderers.
The top two teams will advance to the semifinals, and assistant coach Tony Serumola is confident his team will be one of them, with the ultimate aim to qualify for the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League in Egypt later this year.
“Obviously everybody wishes to be on the other side [Group B] with three teams, but the draw has put us in the four-team group,” Serumola says.
“Sundowns is a big team and we respect them, but we will also show them what Double Action is about and go all the way in terms of giving them a good fight.
“We have to go to Egypt, with the four teams [in the group], we have to target the semifinals, and then the rest will follow.”
Double Action will be at a disadvantage compared to some of their rivals in that football in Botswana is only just getting going again after a long pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Getting the players back up to speed and in the right condition to play will be a big task for the coaches, but Serumola says they don’t want to use that as an excuse.
“Women’s football is growing in Botswana, but we have not been back playing for long. That is the challenge we are having, we are trying to prepare the girls for a return to play, which is not easy, but come competition day we will be ready.
“It is not an excuse, because at the end of the day we have to be here and we have to be ready.”
The team will be led by experienced head coach Oupa Kowa, who replaces Philemon Makhwengwe after the latter moved to men’s Premiership side Orapa United.
Kowa is no stranger to women’s football, he has previously served as technical advisor to the coaching staff of the senior national team, The Mares.
Sundowns will be an open book given the plethora of video footage available on them, while Double Action have met Manzini Wanderers in the recent past. The Lesotho Defence Force will be the one unknown for them.
Sundowns also have former Double Action goalkeeper Sedilame Boseja on their books. She left the Botswana side for Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies in 2017 and signed for Sundowns in May.
Double Action will take their place in the tournament having replaced Prisons XI, who turned down the invitation to take part, citing logistical issues.