Downs Ladies set sights on Fifa Women’s Club World Cup

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala, who continues to etch his name into the record books, is gunning for the Fifa Women’s Club World Cup.

The next tournament will be hosted in Colombia in September 2024. 

On Sunday night, Sundowns Ladies defeated Morocco’s Sporting Club Casablanca 3-0 in the final of the CAF Women’s Champions League in Morocco, their second continental title since 2021.

After the game, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies were presented with several awards for their stellar performance throughout the competition.

Refilwe Tholakele was awarded Top Scorer of the Tournament award after she finished the competition on five goals.

Others who were honoured were Boitumelo Rabale, who brought back home the Best Player of the Tournament award.

Rabale also received the Player of the Final Match award, while Andile Dlamini was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

The club also clinched the Fair-Play Team of the Tournament award.

Next target is Club World Cup

“When you see me happy, I try to rub it onto my players. A happy player will always deliver results for the team. We want to continue performing well,” said Tshabalala.

“Our next target is to aim for a [Women’s] Club World Cup and we hope that one day we will have the opportunity to represent Africa as the champions.

“I wasn’t expecting my girls to finish the game with the same intensity with which they began. They got better as the game went on and had plenty of energy towards the end.

“It all boils down to our training sessions. We kept them light and not too demanding, so they could recover as early as possible. That approach worked wonders for us.”

Tshabalala said the individual awards represent so much, noting that they reflect the hard work that the team has put in.

Investment in women’s football

“It is only through determination that we have won them. Kudos to everyone within the technical team for a job well done,” said Tshabalala.

“The awards are an appreciation of top performance, and we are excited about them.”

He emphasised the need for more investment in women’s football on the continent, saying it is growing by leaps and bounds.

He said: “If we invest, we will reap the rewards. It is a testament to the talent and dedication of these players that they have achieved so much.

“But for the sport to continue thriving, we must allocate more resources, provide better facilities, and create more opportunities for women and girls who aspire to excel in football.

“This victory is just the beginning and with the right support, African women’s football can reach even greater heights.”

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