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THE MASTERMINDS BEHIND SUNDOWNS LADIES TREBLE-WINNING FEAT: THE 'KAPPA AND MADALA' COMBO Coach Jerry Tshabalala and Assistant Coach Agnes Nkosi in discussions during CAF Women's Champions LeagueAuthor: Dumisani KoyanaPhotos: Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixIn football, a coach is often regarded as one of the most important people responsible for a team’s success. But even the most talented gaffers often require well-trusted assistant(s). One of the unwritten rules in the game states that, behind every great coach is a reliable assistant who discharges his or her functions so well.Over the years, football has been gifted with spectacular duos, tandems and partnerships. As Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies celebrated their treble-winning campaign after their last league game against Richmond Ladies, Coach Jerry “Kappa” Tshabalala and Assistant Coach Agnes “Madala” Nkosi were notably joyous figures amidst the haze of the colourful sponsors’ logos, confetti and camera flashes. They had just conquered the South African and continental domain in style (Hollywoodbets Super League, COSAFA CAF Women's Champions League qualifiers and the CAF Women's Champions League in Egypt). During the treble-winning season, Assistant Coach Nkosi was integral to Coach Tshabalala’s grand plans and vision. With flickers of flames in her eyes, Madala became Kappa’s steady hand, entrusted with not only coaching and conditioning, but with tactical motivations during games. The telepathic combination between both coaches was highlighted mostly during the CAF Champions League COSAFA qualifiers and the inaugural edition of the continent’s premier women’s tournament in Egypt. Coach Jerry with Rhoda holding up the Hollywoodbets Super LeagueAfter a hugely successful campaign, both coaches sat down with the Mamelodi Sundowns Digital Magazine Crew to provide an outline of how the past season unfolded.
“We began the season very well, with quality goals scored and several defensive shut-outs. However, we got a reality check from JVW FC (game ended 2-2) and we took that outcome as a wake-up call and we never took the foot off the pedal after that. I loved the way we dominated games and produced results during the course of the season. Along the way, we introduced some youngsters into the mix and they gave a very good account of themselves whenever they were called upon,” stated Coach Tshabalala. Assistant Coach Agnes Nkosi celebrates after winning the finalCoach Nkosi attained a CAF C coaching licence earlier this year and has enjoyed her time in the dugout. She was on the touchline, dishing out tactical instructions to the team as The Brazilians dominated the COSAFA CAF Women's Champions League qualifiers and the CAF Women's Champions League in Egypt.
The switch from being a player to a coach has been an interesting journey for Nkosi, “The change in status from being on the pitch to being at the helm was not easy but I had to take the step. I am grateful to Coach Jerry Tshabalala for having faith in me and trusting in my abilities.” The duet spoke highly of each other and how this iconic partnership blossomed during the season.
Madala stated how Coach Jerry has played the role of a mentor in her young and blissful managerial career thus far, “I remember in 2020 when I was appointed as a Captain of the team, he told me that one of the key reasons I was made Skipper was due to my leadership skills. He spoke of his belief in me to become a coach in the nearest future. However, I didn’t expect it to happen very soon. I am very grateful to have him as a mentor.” Coach Jerry Tshabalala kisses his medal after winning the CAF Women's Champions LeagueCoach Tshabalala who has overseen the rapid growth of Nkosi’s managerial acumen believes she is destined for greatness, “It is very hard for a player to make that immediate switch from the field to becoming a coach. I have worked with Agnes for a couple of years and I know what she is capable of and that is why I saw it fit to groom her. We have a good relationship and we have worked so well together. The treble we have won is proof that we are working well as a team from players to the backroom staff.” Assistant Coach Agnes Nkosi singing after the finalAfter a superb season of lightning-fast and devastating counter-attacking football which yielded 113 goals across the three competitions, the ‘Kappa and Madala’ combo is destined for great things. Thus far, their rise has been Limitless!