Nhlapo inspired to lead Sundowns to her first undefeated league title race


In all the success and glory she has acquired in her playing career, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies captain Zanele Nhlapo says nothing will come close in seeing herself help her side defend their Hollywoodbets Super League title undefeated this season.

Nhlapo, who has won two league titles and one cup competition in the two years she had spent in Europe before reuniting with the Chloorkop outfit this season, said reaching such a feat with Sundowns Ladies would be a dream come true for her.

As it stands Sundowns Ladies are top of the league standings undefeated with 37 points and three games in hand against second-placed TUT Ladies FC, who are sitting on 33 points.

Sundowns are now 13 league matches away before their league campaign comes to a close.

“I was with Andisiwe Mgcoyi when we won the league title with FK Apolonia in Albania and both the Kosovo Cup and the League race, following our move to FKK Mitrovica,” Nhlapo said. “Both were great experiences and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But be that as it may, I am yet to win the league without having conceded a single defeat through the season in a professional setup.

“This is the next level (of competitiveness) and Sundowns were able to do it without us last season. Being a part of the team in this campaign, and also serving as their captain, one cannot help it but have such ambitions and have that desire to attain them no matter the cost.”

The other goal that the now 30-year old Nhlapo would love to attain is that of earning her place back into the Banyana Banyana setup. The defender said this is one dream she hasn’t given up on and believes that it can be attained, as she endeavours to add to the four caps she has already accumulated with the senior national women’s team.

“In all of the experiences I have gathered in Europe, I have learned that age is just a number as long as one can perform whenever they are called upon,” Nhlapo said. “I still believe in my capabilities because prior to my return to South Africa, my team (FKK Mitrovica) wanted me to change my nationality so that I could form part of their national setup that side. I refused. Representing Banyana Banyana has always been a dream of mine. And if it happens that it is just one of those experiences that are not supposed to unfold anymore in my life, then let it be.”

By Mohau Ramashidja