After steering Sundowns Ladies to a third successive Hollywoodbets Super League title, Coach Jerry ‘Kappa’ Tshabalala believes his troops are fully motivated to excel across the three competitions in 2023.
The Brazilians famously clinched the league spectacularly last season with 27 wins out of 30 games, scoring 126 goals and conceding just 13 times. The Brazilians also reached the finals of the COSAFA Qualifiers and the CAF Women’s Champions League.
Speaking after the team’s first week of training, Kappa expressed his delight at the attitude of his troops.
“Most of the players came back to camp in top shape as they adhered to the training program they received during the break. Their sharpness and fitness in the first week of training excite me ahead of the new campaign. It shows their professionalism and willingness to align with the team’s ethos of commencing every new season with renewed hunger and optimism,” Kappa stated.
Coach Jerry masterminded his troops to a memorable defense of their Hollywoodbets Super League title last year and was named Coach of the Season for the second time in a row at the end-of-the-season Awards. Despite that achievement, Kappa believes there is much work to be done to extend the team’s dominance of the domestic competition.
“Last season, we learned lots of lessons across the three competitions and there are certain aspects of our game we need to improve upon. Complacency is something we are working hard to eliminate because we need to approach each game with renewed zeal to do better than the last game. Although we dominated the Hollywoodbets Super League, we suffered unexpected defeats to UWC and TUT. Kudos to them, but those were avoidable defeats and we need to treat each game like a cup final and not save our best performances against certain teams,” said the reigning Coach of the Season.
Restoring Banyana Ba Style to the pinnacle of African women’s football is top on Kappa’s agenda for the season.
“We have also gained valuable experiences at the two editions of the CAF Women’s Champions League. Last year, we saw how physical teams are becoming, thus, we are working hard on our fitness levels and physical conditions. That is why I am very excited about the sharpness and fitness of the team during our first training sessions. We are truly motivated ahead of the new season and conquering the continent remains our top objective,” Kappa added.
After their exploits at the VW Vaya Cup soccer tournament last year, teenage sensations Munashe Mugwara and Katlego Malebane have also trained with the first team as Coach Jerry continues his remarkable trend of entrusting youngsters from the youth development side.
“It’s always exciting to monitor closely the growth of our highly talented youngsters. Allowing them to train with the first team is a viable way to boost their confidence levels. We are very pleased with their commitment and hunger to succeed at Mamelodi Sundowns,” Kappa concluded.
A big season awaits Sundowns Ladies and Coach Jerry will be hoping to rally his troops across every competition we participate in.