In the first season of the Safa National Women’s League (SNWL), Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies breezed to victory unbeaten with 21 wins from 21 matches and coach Jerry Tshabalala has called on his team to be more ruthless in the second edition set to get under on Saturday.
The defending Women’s League champions made their intentions of retaining their title very clear, strengthening the team with the signings of several experienced campaigners such as Andisiwe Mgcoyi, Zanele Nhlapo, Thalea Smidt, Mary Ntsweng, Boitumelo Rabale, Melinda Kgadiete, and Bambanani Mbane.
On top of playing in the SNWL, Tshabalala’s side will battle it out with seven other teams from the Southern African region for a spot in the inaugural Caf Women’s Champions League to be played later this year.
“Things are looking good, the new players are looking forward to starting the season with Sundowns,” Tshabalala told FARPost.
“I believe we are going to be more ruthless than last season, we can’t be the same, we have to improve, and every season has to be different due to the fact that the competition is going to be tight since now they know us, how we play but I still say we are going to be way ruthless than the previous season, we need to grow.”
The league has expanded its division from 12 to 14 teams with the addition of Ma-Indies and JVW Girls for the much-anticipated second edition which has seen several teams like University of Johannesburg Ladies, University of Western Cape Ladies, Tshwane University of Technology, and JVW announce new sponsorship deals.
According to Tshabalala, Sundowns Ladies will also seek to break the impressive records they have set of 82 goals, the most goals scored by the team last season and 12 goals conceded – the lowest.
“It is going to be a challenging season, we want to surpass what we have achieved, so we are going to do our level best, the fixture is out, and our first game is against Golden Ladies on Saturday [at Downs Ladies’ new home ground in Groenkloof] and it is not going to be a walk in the park. So basically, we need to work harder than last season,” concluded Tshabalala.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi