No time to celebrate for Sundowns Ladies as they turn attention to league catch-up

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala with the Caf Women's Champions League trophy.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala with the Caf Women's Champions League trophy.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

There is no time to rest and bask in their Caf Women's Champions League glory for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. 

They arrived home with the trophy on Tuesday after beating Sporting Casablanca 3-0 in the final on Sunday at Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Korhogo, Ivory Coast, with one eye on their catch-up mission in the Hollywoodbets Super League.

After arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, coach Jerry Tshabalala said they will be training on Wednesday to prepare for the resumption of the league on Thursday against Tshwane University of Technology at Lucas Moripe Stadium (3pm). 

“It is still alive,” Tshabalala said, referring to the league race where they are six points behind leaders University of the Western Cape (UWC), who have played three games more. 

“I watched two of their matches and I felt we still have a chance to go out there and win the Hollywoodbets Super League. We have done it before by winning the treble in 2021 and we stand another good chance to do it again this year.”

Tshabalala said his team have to be at their best to close the gap on UWC. 

“Games in hand are not points; we have to grind for the results and I have already told the girls the Champions League is done and dusted and our focus is on the league. 

“The trophy we brought home is more or less similar to any one, the focus now has to change to the league. We arrived back in the country on Tuesday but we are training on Wednesday and we are playing on Thursday. It shows we want to win everything.” 

Tshabalala avoided taking sole credit for Downs' Champions League success. 

“I am a fortunate coach with the technical staff I work with, I am not doing the job alone. There is the medical team who always advise on the load of the players and all that.” 

Tshabalala said he will rotate the squad for the remainder of the league campaign to keep players fresh. 

“As a coach, you do your best to rotate the squad as much as possible. In our first two games in the tournament [Champions League] we didn’t make too many changes but we made seven changes in the third game to rotate the squad. 

“Coming to the Super League, we will also try to rotate the squad, but we are going to be cautious in how we do it. We also want to win the league and we have games coming in thick and fast. 

“We are playing on Thursday and Sunday. The support I am getting from the medical team will also help the team win the league. 

“I am one who accommodates any expert who comes in to help the team grow. If you look at the job done by the medical team, it’s a wonderful job and credit must go to them.” 


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