Few hours before the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League, Egypt 2021 final between Ghana’s Hasaacas Ladies and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, players of Mamelodi Sundowns talked to CAFOnline.com.
Lelona Daweti: I pulled through my injury and came back stronger.
“My football career started at the age of 13. I was very hyped and excited for football, playing for the national team and my team. I was just enjoying the fact that I’m playing football”.
“My mom and her family always supported me, they never thought that football is not for me, they stood by me all the time. I faced many people that always told me football is not for girls, but it’s not about that, it’s about what I love”.
“This team means a lot for me; we’ve been through a lot together since I joined. This team built me as a player and a person. Being around coach Jerry and my teammates, it’s been an exciting journey”
It was not an easy journey for Lelona to get back from the hurtful injury she went through. “I tore my ligaments in 2019 and was off for a whole season. I then started my rehab and tried to come back as soon as I could. It was not pleasing watching the team play while I cannot play, but it also taught me how much my support can help the team. I pulled through it and came back stronger. My teammates helped me a lot in this”.
“Every dream has its challenges, and those challenges build you. It’s always about how you get up. Every girl has to be strong and push forward, never listen to any negativity. People will hate and love, you must face it all. That’s life, it’s never easy”.
Lelona’s dream after WCL is to go to Club World Cup. “When I knew we are participating in this, I immediately thought about playing in Club World Cup, and wining WCL is just a step closer to that dream. We only have 90 minutes to get ourselves there”.
Andisiwe Mgcoyi – Forward: I always dream big!
The experienced 30 years old forward who used to participate in European Champions League and London Olympic Games, always had the dream of playing abroad, and had that coming her way after she joined Mamelodi Sundowns the first time in 2013.
“I’ve always wanted to play in UCL and did that three times in a row. I’ve played in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and now I’m in the final of WCL. I’m only missing now is to play in the world cup, only then will I have achieved all of my dreams”.
“Growing up in a small town, I never had small dreams. Only big targets and destinations! I always dream big”.
“I was lucky to have my family’s support, especially my mother, all the way. Even our community, when I started playing football, I did not face direct rejections, but I always had to prove my worth first”.
“To young girls, you should not try to be someone else. You do not what people go through to be who they are. Do not listen to people saying, ‘you cannot do it’. Only you can decide that!”.