Coach Jerry Tshabalala reacts as Banyana Ba Style learn CAF Women’s Champions League Opponents

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have now discovered their opponents for the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League following Monday evening’s draw in Abidjan.

In this year’s competition, the Brazilians find themselves in Group A, alongside the hosts and tournament debutants, Athlético FC Abidjan, as well as the Moroccan side Sporting Club Casablanca and Tanzania’s JKT Queens.

Group B features the reigning Moroccan champions, AS FAR, Ghana’s Ampem Darkoa, Equatorial Guinea’s Huracanes, and Mali’s AS Mandé.

Coach Jerry ‘Kappa’ Tshabalala expressed his satisfaction with the draw, stating, “This is indeed a very interesting group because we are placed alongside three debutant teams, all eager to showcase their quality and make a mark. We anticipate tough matches and must approach them with caution. It is essential that we stay focused and play to our strengths while respecting our opponents. Every team in this group will be highly motivated, so we must bring our best performance to the pitch.”

Kappa also emphasized the importance of this year’s competition following the disappointment in last year’s final. “We are still licking our wounds after last year’s final against AS FAR. It is so important to redeem ourselves and it remains fresh on our minds. We have to prove that it was not a fluke that we were inaugural champions. The standards of South African football are on the rise and we need to continue to set the bar high. There is also a possibility of the Club World Cup, and we need to put ourselves in a position that whenever the competition is sanctioned, we will be the ones in attendance,” Coach Jerry added.

When asked about what to expect from the Tshwane giants at the continent’s premier women’s tournament, Coach Tshabalala stated, “Our team has not changed significantly and the core of the team remains intact. We have added some experienced players like Kholosa Biyana, Malebogo Shawe, Refilwe Tholakele, Thato Letsoso and Lebogang Ramalepe. We are determined to score as much as we did in 2021. We are prepared to give our all for this competition and everyone is highly motivated to reclaim continental glory.”

The Brazilians and AS FAR will be making their third successive appearance at the tournament, being the only two teams to have participated in every edition since the tournament’s inception.

This year’s tournament is scheduled to take place from November 5th to 19th, 2023, in the cities of San Pédro and Korhogo.