Sundowns Ladies Gear Up for Next Generation of New Talent

One of the most exciting features of the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies team has been their constant desire to inspire the next generation of women both in South Africa and beyond. The club has continuously been on the front foot when it comes to promoting women’s soccer to highly esteemed supporters and even potential young players. This quest has been at the core of the Brazilians values, culture and ethos. As the continental champions returned to training, several plans that have been geared towards the development of young footballers have begun to be implemented.

This year’s pre-season kicked off on a different gear. The technical team hit the ground running with assessments of young players that were scouted in recent times. Several talented players from different Provinces across the nation were individually contacted to report at the Clapham High School in Pretoria to prove their mettle and show their capability and understanding of the game. The assessed players ranged from between 14 to 18 years to constitute a feeder team for the Senior Team. Around 40 young players were assessed, a figure that was later reduced to around 20 players after several screening exercises.

A few days ago, the selected few were further assessed, “There’s so much potential displayed by these young players and it will be an awesome experience to watch them grow. I cannot wait to monitor their development and witness their progress until they join the treble champions and even possibly become feeders to the South Africa women’s national football team. I simply can’t wait to see them win titles at the club and beyond,” Coach Agnes Nkosi stated.

Senior Football Talent Scout, Themba Ngwenya stated that the assessment exercise is going according to plan, “It is imperative that we continually harness and develop new talent from the young players that have the potential to contribute to the game of football. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of building a solid foundation to catch them young. Our youths of today are the future.”

Coach Jerry Tshabalala further highlighted the importance of ensuring a strategic succession plan to maintain on-pitch success.

“We’ve had success with the transitioning of the young players introduced to the Sundowns Ladies Team. The likes of Lumka Qhekeka, Sne Khasakhe and Sphesihle Magazi all aged 15 years were added to the current squad in the past season. The implementation process of successive plans is going well thus far. This is one of the most important stages of football, it is evolving and forever developing. As we build upon the season we’ve had, it is critically important to have a strategic succession plan to always have the right players at our reach when the need arises,” Kappa stressed.

Youngster, Sphesihle Magazi, spoke highly of the need to tap into the wealth of experience of the senior players within the team.
“Senior players play an important role in guiding our skills to perfection. There’s no better platform to harness our talents and skills. As one of the youngest players within the team, it was a bit overwhelming at the beginning but our seniors made us feel at ease. They encouraged us and that gave us the motivation to deliver on the pitch. It’s all about preparing for the future as youngsters strengthen the existing set-up as they bring in fresher ideas,” Magazi stated.

Last season, the integration of the 15-year-olds (Lumka Qhekeka, Sne Khasakhe and Sphesihle Magazi) into the first-team setup was seamless. Lumka was particularly sensational on her Hollywoodbets Super League debut as she scored a wonderful quick-fire brace as Banyana Ba Style dismantled Tsunami Queens at the Groenkloof Stadium by an imperious 7-0 scoreline. That marked the beginning of an era for the youngster whose confidence has soared high since that spectacular debut dazzle.

With a new generation of youngsters already being harnessed, the future of the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies team is bright, to say the least.

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