Jerry Tshabalala has led Sundowns Ladies to two Champions League titles in three seasons.
(Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
- Jerry Tshabalala has led Mamelosi Sundowns Ladies to three successive CAF Women’s Champions League finals, winning two of them.
- The club won the Champions League in 2021 and 2023 without conceding a goal in those campaigns.
- Tshabalala now wants to lead Sundowns against the best in the world.
- For more sports news, go to the News24 Sport front page.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies’ coach Jerry Tshabalala is now aiming to conquer the world after leading the club to two CAF Women’s Champions League titles in three seasons.
Tshabalala’s team has been a dominant force in African football. They have won the South African semi-professional league, the Hollywoodbets Super League, three times in a row. They have also won the Cosafa Women’s Champions League twice in the last three years, with the tournament serving as qualifiers for the Women’s Champions League – which Sundowns has played in all its three finals.
Banyana ba Style bounced back from last season’s disappointment where they were embarrassed by Morocco’s AS FAR 4-0 in the final to avenge that defeat against Sporting Club Casablanca in Ivory Coast on Sunday. Sundowns beat Casablanca 3-0 in the final to become two-time African champions.
“We’ve won this tournament two times now in three seasons,” said Tshabalala.
“We want to keep on doing good (in Africa). But now the target is the Club World Cup. We are hoping that FIFA will make an announcement soon and say, ‘Here is the Club World Cup’. That’s the bigger vision for us. Hopefully they announce it early, or next year when we are still the reigning African champions and we represent Africa.”
FIFA has revealed that they are in advanced stages in their plans to launch a Women’s Club World Cup which would be contested by champions of the various confederations. In December last year, FIFA’s Council approved the establishment of a Women’s Club World Cup along with a futsal tournament and the expansion of teams at the Olympics, increasing the pool from 12 to 16.
Sundowns won the Champions League without conceding a goal while they found the back of the net nine times. They were richly rewarded for the effort, the team walking away with just over R7-million which will be shared by the players as is Sundowns’ policy.
Andile Dlamini walked away with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, while playmaker Boitumelo Rabale bagged the Player of the Tournament nod and striker Refilwe Tholakele scooped the Golden Boot for her six goals. Tshabalala is in the running for the CAF Coach of the Year award in women’s football for a second year in a row.
While the club’s success is built on quality international players who have represented their country and also played at the highest level, Tshabalala has also been blooding young talent into the side to ensure that their dominance keeps going for more years to come.
“When you look at the game that we played against Atletico for instance, we used most of our younger players,” said Tshabalala. “We do have a plan so that the team doesn’t drop the pefomance drastically in years to come. In the final we introduced Khunjolwa Mali and Oratile Mokwena so that they can get used to this intensity.”