After enjoying historic success in the inaugural edition of CAF Women’s Champions League last year, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are preparing to defend their title as the tournament gets underway from 30 October to 13 November 2022 in Morocco. Banyana Ba Style famously last year’s competition in fascinating style without conceding a single goal.
One of the cardinal pillars of that triumphant team was Oratile Dikgosi Mokwena who is a cousin of former Sundowns star midfielder, Lebohang Mokoena. Oratile was a steady figure as The Brazilians basked in the cloak of invincibility throughout the tournament.
Mokwena notably clinched the ‘Woman of the Match’ award as the Chloorkop-based side beat Nigeria’s Rivers Angels 1-0 in their second Group B match last year.
Mokwena believes Sundowns Ladies will have to do things differently as they prepare for the defense of their continental title.
“The preparations for Morocco have been great thanks to the great intensity of the Hollywoodbets Super League. As the defending champion of the tournament, every team will want to make a name for themselves by becoming the first team to defeat us. Thus, we need to approach games differently to avoid any surprises. We are aware of the stakes in Morocco, and we are not taking anything for granted,” said the Ga-Rankuwa-born midfielder.
Coach Jerry’s troops are pitted in Group B against Nigeria’s Bayelsa Queens, Egypt’s Wadi Degla, and Congo’s TP Mazembe. With several new teams set to feature in Morocco, the tireless midfield dynamo insists there is no room for complacency.
“We are fully aware of the new sides that will be competing in this year’s edition. Although I do not know much about them, the technical team has been very supportive by evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. There is a lot of pressure on us to defend our title and we are ready for the challenge. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves,” Mokwena stated.
The industrious midfielder further believes the current team is stronger than the year before thanks to the new signings.
“We have a couple of quality players who have joined the team as we seek to defend our continental title (Miche Minnies, Tiisetso Makhubela, and Gabonnelwe Kekana). They have all integrated successfully into the team’s philosophy and culture. Their performance in the Hollywoodbets Super League has been impressive, thus, we stand a great chance in Morocco with them,” Oratile concluded.
Since joining Sundowns Ladies in 2016 from TuksSport High School Oratile has enjoyed huge success with The Brazilians. The 21-year-old midfielder was part of the team that won the 2019/2020 SAFA National Women’s League and featured in the 2020/2021 Hollywoodbets Super League Team of the Year.
In total, she has won two league titles, one CAF Women’s Champions League crown, and one COSAFA CAF Women’s Champions League trophy.
Sundowns Ladies have already landed in Morocco and will be squaring off against Nigeria’s Bayelsa Queens in their opening game on the 31st of October 2022.