CAF Women’s Club of the Year Mamelodi Sundowns have made a strong start to their HOLLYWOODBETS Super League campaign in 2022, though their season has included the rarest of things … a defeat.
Sundowns will hope to retain their title at the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier in Durban from August 7-13, which in turn would give them the chance to defend their CAF Women’s Champions League crown as well.
These are heady days for the club and their coach Jerry Tshabalala, and while they currently top the domestic Super League table, a 2-0 loss to the University of the Western Cape in May means they have not had it all their own way.
The team have been on a break since the early June as the league stopped for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, that South Africa won in Morocco, but they are due to get back in action on Sunday against University of Pretoria in a Super League derby.
“We have indeed enjoyed a strong start to our season and the results have shown that we mean business,” Tshabalala said recently. “There is a long way still to go, but I am happy with the way we have dominated games so far. The FIFA [international] break is always an opportunity for members of the team to showcase their abilities on the national and international stage.”
Tshabalala added that the break had given them the chance to “take some time out to fine-tune our strategies ahead of the league’s resumption”.
The match against AmaTuks on Sunday will be the only one for the side before they go to the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier.
They have been drawn in Group A with Double Action Ladies of Botswana, who they beat 6-0 in the pool stages last term, and debutants Costa do Sol from Mozambique.
“This is a very tricky draw for us because we find ourselves in a group that has a debutant from Mozambique. We have never had a chance to assess their strengths and they will be our opponents in the first game,” Tshabalala says.
“We have to rely on our strengths as a team because we believe in our philosophy and playing style that has earned us great success over the years.”
Despite their success last term, where they scored 22 goals and conceded just once on their way to the title, Tshabalala says they cannot take anything for granted.
“Yes, we came out on top last year against our opponents, but they may have changed a number of their personnel and players. I believe they have bolstered their team and I expect a different squad this time around.
“We are not going to be complacent because we plan to work hard and treat each game as a final. Defending our titles is the priority and we are ready for it.”