DAR ES SALAAM: THE nation’s representatives in the CAF Women Champions League, JKT Queens, are intensifying their preparations for the upcoming finals in Ivory Coast.
According to Massau Bwire, the JKT Queens Information Officer, the determined women are currently in a training camp, familiarising themselves with the rules of engagement in preparation for a successful performance in the upcoming competition.
“Our JKT Queens team departed today at 10 AM, taking a flight to Ethiopia and then directly to Ivory Coast, where they are ready to compete in the tournament.
“The team representing our nation will commence their campaign by facing South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns on November fifth. They will then go on to play against the host team, Athletico FC Abidjan, on November eighth. Their final group stage match will be against Sporting Club Casablanca on November 11,” Bwire further revealed.
Concurrently, Bwire noted that the other group in the competition is also leaving no stone unturned. Skilled coaches are ensuring that the players maintain high levels of motivation.
He expressed confidence in their group’s prospects, based on the nature of the training they are undergoing, highlighting their past achievements.
“The fact that we won the women’s premier league title last season without losing any games, and also clinched the CECAFA trophy in Uganda without suffering defeat, speaks volumes about our progress in fulfilling our objectives in the CAF Women’s Champions League,” he said.
Bwire emphasised that JKT Queens is composed of Tanzanian players who are dedicated to giving their all on the field and demonstrating the potential of Tanzanian-born players.
The team earned their place in the continental showdown by winning the Tanzania Women’s Premier League title, maintaining an unbeaten record throughout the season, and delivering outstanding performances in regional competitions.
At the 2023 CECAFA competition held in Uganda, JKT Queens outperformed CBE of Ethiopia, winning the trophy with a 5-4 score in a penalty shootout during the final match.
This year marks the first time that CAF’s premier club competition is being hosted in West Africa. Morocco’s ASFAR are the defending champions of the CAF Women’s Champions League, having defeated Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in Rabat last year.
Mamelodi Sundowns had won the inaugural competition in Egypt in 2021, and both clubs have qualified for the final tournament.
The eight teams that have qualified for the finals are as follows: JKT Queens – Tanzania (CECAFA), AS FAR – Morocco (Defending champions), Athletico Abidjan – Ivory Coast, and SC Casablanca – Morocco (UNAF). Additionally, AS Mande – Mali (WAFU A), Ampem Darkoa – Ghana (WAFU B), Mamelodi Sundowns – South Africa (COSAFA, 2021 champions), and Huracanes – Equatorial Guinea (UNIFFAC).