Manzini Wanderers Ladies captain Gcinile Zwane admits that there is a lot of work that needs to go into women’s football in Eswatini to raise the standard but is hopeful that the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifier in Durban from August 26 to September 4 will allow her team to show their rich potential.
Wanderers have been drawn in a tough Group A that also includes top seeds Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa, Botswana’s Double Action Ladies and Lesotho Defence Force.
The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals, with the winner of the competition booking their ticket to the continental Champions League finals in Cairo later in the year.
“It’s a very tough group, but we will work hard to be part of the top two,” Zwane says. “Working hard is the only thing that can help us, and to do things as a team.”
She admits that the club does not have the resources that some of their opponents enjoy but says the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League l COSAFA Qualifier can help them to show potential sponsors they are worth investing in.
“The standard [of women’s football in Eswatini] is low, since we don’t have sponsors. We run the team out of our own pockets, so it is very hard for us. But it will help us for recognition.”
Head coach Bongani Makhukhula has named a training squad ahead of the COSAFA competition, which does include several national team players.
The likes of defenders Welile Ndwandwe and Thandeka Mbatha, and forward Zwane have all played recently for the national team.
Manzini Wanderers training squad:
Goalkeepers: Nandipha Mkhwanazi, Dolly Khoza, Lindokuhle Msibi
Defenders: Temakhwanati Mncina, Tanele Mazibuko, Welile Ndwandwe, Thandeka Mbatha, Ngcimphiwe Cele, Badelisile Ngozo
Midfielders: Tibonile Dlamini, Nokuthula Ndlovu, Sikholiwe Magagula, Tsephiso Madumise, Francis Dlamini, Londiwe Maziya, Merilyn Sanga, Temazomba Dludlu, Aphelele Mpambani
Strikers: Nonhle Simelane, Gcinile Zwane, Nolwazi Dlamini.