Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies head coach Jerry Tshabalala has reacted after today’s draw for the Total CAF Women’s Champions League. Lethabo Kganyago reports.
Tshabalala says it is difficult to do homework on clubs from across the COSAFA region ahead of the start of the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions league Zonal qualifiers.
Mamelodi Sundowns have been drawn in Group A alongside Lesotho Defence Force, Double Action Ladies from Botswana, and Manzini Wanderers from eSwatini.
Tshabalala says with sides he can’t get any videos of, he will rely on the style of play of the sides’ respective countries for preparation.
“You know I have tried it is difficult. It is a pity some of those clubs do not upload their games on any social media or anything but one would consider and look at the standard of country’s football in terms of the way they play so that is how I would gage them. I would look for example at Eswatini and say what is their standard of football there, how they played maybe against the likes of Banyana Banyana and the likes of Zambia. So if I can’t find those videos then one would just have to bear in mind how a Zambia plays, the team that’s coming from Zambia has got three or four players that were in the Olympic squad and it tells you that the standard is up there,” Tshabalala told iDiski Times.
The South African champions face a busy August with the resumption of the Hollywoodbets Super League and the Champions league Zonal qualifiers. They currently top of the Super League log with 22 points from eight matches that’s a backlog of three matches.
The break was forced by a lockdown owing to a high rising Covid-19 positive cases in South Africa and now league action will reopen on 7 August. Tshabalala says his charges are always motivated even in training and that makes things easy for him. He hopes that Sundowns will build momentum that they can carry into the Champions League Zonal qualifiers.
“We are very fortunate that we are going to be restarting our league just now on the seventh which can give us time to carry momentum into the tournament. Also match fitness; the guys won’t battle with match fitness. We are fortunate that this year we managed to sign 26 players. When you have 26 players it’s more or less like you have two teams, so one would have to be very careful how they manage the team. We have games coming thick and fast , we are playing those catch – up games so one has to be careful that the players don’t get fatigued and not forget the Champions league,” added Tshabalala.
Meanwhile group B of the qualifiers comprise of the Green Buffaloes Women from Zambia, Black Rhinos of Zimbabwe and Tura Magic from Namibia. The qualifiers will be played between 26 August and September 4 with the winner going to be the region’s representative at the continental showpiece later this year.
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
Lesotho Defence Force (Lesotho)
Double Action Ladies (Botswana)
Manzini Wanderers (Eswatini)
Green Buffaloes (Zambia)
Black Rhino Queens (Zimbabwe)
TURA Magic (Namibia)