Andile Dlamini, the goalkeeper for Mamelodi Sundowns, believes that the quality of goalkeeping in women’s football is steadily improving in Africa. Fresh from helping her team secure their third consecutive qualification for the CAF Women’s Champions League by winning the COSAFA title without a single loss, Dlamini is eager to add another continental accolade to her list of achievements at this year’s CAF Women’s Champions League in Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
Dlamini, who is currently at the pinnacle of her career at the age of 31, shared her thoughts with CAFOnline while in the USA, where South Africa is preparing to face the former FIFA Women’s World Cup champions in an international friendly match on Thursday, 21 September.
“I truly believe that the standard of women’s football goalkeeping is improving in Africa. We simply need more young female goalkeepers to follow in our footsteps so that our department can become even more solid,” said the shot-stopper.
Having been named the best goalkeeper at the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco 2022, where she kept four clean sheets on her way to helping Banyana Banyana secure their first-ever continental title, “Sticks,” as the tall goalkeeper is affectionately known, also discussed the upcoming CAF Women’s Champions League. She expressed her team’s excitement about the opportunity to compete for the trophy once again.
“It means the world to us as a team. We have another opportunity to compete for the trophy, and we look forward to the journey in Cote d’Ivoire,” she said.
“We approach every game with the hope of winning it. We participated in the CAF qualifiers with the hope of winning, and we did. We take one game at a time and, in doing so, we focus on the present. Our current focus is on CAF. For now, it’s about getting the right mindset, converting the chances we get, and maintaining a clean sheet,” Dlamini added.
Sundowns were crowned African champions in the inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League held in Egypt in 2021. However, they relinquished their title to Morocco’s AS Far last season. Both Sundowns and AS Far have qualified for the continental competition, where they will be the main attractions in the eight-team tournament scheduled to take place between November 5th and 19th.