Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies head coach Jerry Tshabalala has reacted to the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League draw, saying it’s an interesting one.
Sundowns were drawn in Group A for this year’s tournament alongside hosts and debutants Athlético F.C. d’Abidjan and two other rookies in Moroccan side SC Casablanca and JKT Queens from Tanzania.
Group B comprises of defending champions AS FAR from Morocco, Ampem Darkoa from Ghana, Huracanes from Equatorial Guinea and Mali’s AS Mande.
This is the South African champions’ third successive appearance at the tournament, and only they and AS FAR have participated in every edition since the tournament’s inception in 2021.
Sundowns qualified from the COSAFA region with a perfect record, having won all their matches in the regional qualifiers scoring 21 goals, while conceding just one in Durban in September.
Tshabalala says the debutants will want to prove that they are no push overs, however his side will also bank on their experience to give them an edge in Ivory Coast next month.
“A very interesting draw indeed, something which we were not expecting,” Tshabalala told iDiski Times.
“When you look in terms of at the teams in our group, all the other three teams in our group I think they are debutants and they would really like to prove a point that it wasn’t a fluke for them to be in the Champions League. So we are excepting very, very tough games against all those three teams.
“But once again with the experience that we’ve gained from the previous tournament, I guess it will come in handy for us.
“But we must also be very cautious in terms of how we approach all those three games in our group, like I said earlier on, a very, very interesting group.”
The tournament will play from 5-19 November 2023 in the cities of San-Pedro and Korhogo.