The TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier 2022 in Durban will be staged from August 7-13 as African champions Mamelodi Sundowns look to defend their title.
But there will be other pretenders to the crown and it should make for fascinating viewing and a week of excellent football action.
Just to whet the appetite, here are six players who excelled in the inaugural 2021 edition that was also played in Durban.
MELINDA KGADIETE (MAMELODI SUNDOWNS)
The top scorer at the last tournament, Kgadiete was a constant thorn in the side of the opposition with her intelligent runs and rocket shot. She caught the eye of the national team coaches through her performances and proved in the competition that she did not just have an eye for goal but is a consummate finisher. She will be back for more in 2022, where she will no doubt be one of the players to watch again.
RUTENDO MAKORE (BLACK RHINOS QUEENS)
Veteran forward Makore is no stranger to fans in the region after her excellent exploits for Zimbabwe’s national team and she showed her worth in this competition despite her side finishing as runners-up. She has the power to hold off defenders and certainly knows her way to go as she won the Player of the Tournament prize in 2021.
BAMBANANI MBANE (MAMELODI SUNDOWNS)
Sundowns only conceded a single goal on their way to the title and much of that had to do with the excellence of defender Mbane. She has been a rock at the back for club and country for some time now with her expert reading of the game and speed across the surface. She carried that on at the continental finals where Sundowns were just as miserly in defence.
ANDISIWE MGCOYI (MAMELODI SUNDOWNS)
The tall and powerful Mgcoyi is a highly intelligent player who can be a wizard with the ball at her feet, not only scoring goals but also brining others into play. She managed four goals in 2021 but might have finished with many more had she had a little bit of extra luck. She is experienced after a spell overseas and brought all of that know-how to the Sundowns side that lifted the trophy.
PRECIOUS MUDYIWA (BLACK RHINOS QUEENS)
The goalkeeper had a superb tournament and won the Golden Glove award for her numerous excellent stops as Black Rhinos Queens picked up the silver medal. There was nothing she could do to keep Sundowns out in the final, but she certainly played a big role in her side reaching the decider.
LESEGO RADIAKANYO (DOUBLE ACTION LADIES)
The Botswana international was superb for Double Action Ladies in helping them to the semifinals, netting three goals along the way. Her movement and quality in the finish was a highlight and she is very much a leader in her side, as well as being a fine player for The Mares. She will be back for more this year!