Tuesday Aug 03, 2021. 09:00
Green Buffaloes Women’s FC coach Charles Haalubono is looking forward to the challenges awaiting them in the uncharted waters of the inaugural COSAFA Zone CAF Women’s Champions League tournament qualifiers.
The Zambian champions are in Group B together with TURA Magic of Namibia and Zimbabwean club Black Rhino Queens at the inaugural seven-team COSAFA zone CAF Women’s inter-club tournament qualifier, to be held from August 26 to September 4.
Group A consists of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies of South Africa, Lesotho Defence Force Women’s FC, Botswana representatives Double Action Ladies and Eswatini side Manzini Wanderers.
“We have very good teams in the draws. In fact, all the sides involved are big teams in their respective countries,” Haalubono said.
“All those teams have their best international players in their line-ups so it will not be an easy tournament.”
Buffaloes have six players coming back from the Olympics and Haalubono had at least five of his girls in the starting XI in each of Shepolopolo’s three Group F matches in Japan.
“I know that women’s football has gained a lot of support this time because of the Olympics,” Haalubono said.
“A lot of people have been following and it will be good for us now because people will also be following us and so we should try by all means to do our best.”
The top two sides from Group A and B will advance to the semifinals in the race to pick the COSAFA zones’ sole representative at the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League tournament to be staged in Cairo at the end of 2021.
“It is a very good platform to help us learn and improve our standards so that we can compare with our neighbours where we are and where they are too,” Haalubono said.
Buffaloes will face Rhino Queens in their opening Group B match on August 27 and wrap-up a short preliminary round phase campaign against Tura Magic on August 31.