PUMA Football caught up with Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Team captain Zanele Ndlapho for a Q&A.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Tembisa, attended Tembisa High School and became interested in football through playing with the boys during primary school.
What do you love about the beautiful game?
It brings happiness into my life and I love the challenges both on and off the field.
What are your strengths?
I’m very quick on and off the ball. I’m very skillful and understand the game.
Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?
My mother because she always gives me strength when I’m down.
Who has been your biggest influence in football?
Andile Dlamini. She motivates me to believe in myself and do my best. She’s been with the national team and Mamelodi Sundowns for years.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be the best of yourself and always believe in yourself.
What advice do you have for young girls who dream of becoming footballers?
Work harder, be respectful and get educated.
How often do you get to train as a team and what fitness plan you follow?
Two to three times a week and I follow a training program from the national team.
What barriers have you encountered as a woman in football?
We don’t have a professional league and have unfair treatment.
How do your family feel about you playing football?
They have always been there for me in difficult times, encouraging me to work harder and do what I love.
What are your football ambitions?
Winning the SASOL national camps with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2017, playing overseas and for Banyana Banyana for many years.
Tell us about the highlight of your football career?
TheSASOL national championship in 2013 and 2015.
What is your biggest disappointment as a footballer?
Not being able to defend the SASOL women’s trophy in 2014 and 2016.
In tough times where do you draw your strength?
From my parents, teammates and friends.
Do you have a day job?
I have a job as a school coach.
How would you like to see women’s football develop?
To have a televised professional women’s league.
Has playing football brought about any other opportunities for you?
Yes, job opportunities.
What do you like about being a part of the Mamelodi Sundowns football club?
I just love the unity and the winning mentality.