27 November 2018 – The 2018 Sasol League National Championships begin in earnest in a week’s time, as provincial champions from around the country prepare to lay it all on the line for the ultimate prize.

KwaZulu-Natal champions, Durban Ladies, enjoyed a particularly excellent campaign, after managing to survive a late charge from fellow title contenders and rivals Lindelani Ladies, to repeat their 2012 feat.

The main draw was conducted this past Thursday with the club drawn in Group B alongside First Touch Academy and Richmond United.

SAFA.net caught up with charismatic skipper Zinhle “Zozo” Shazi ahead of the all-important championships. The leader remains upbeat and positive, as she reflected on the season thus far and what fans could expect in the upcoming finals.

“It feels good to be champions, especially after all the hard work and commitment we put in. It wasn’t easy but we made it and are going strong”, said Shazi, a speedy and physically balanced player herself.

When posed the question about the team’s ‘secret to success’, Shazi wasted little time in praising the club’s sponsors.

“We have to give thanks to our sponsors and those who have helped us get here. We were able to have a good pre-season due to them and that was a huge part of why we are here. The National Lotteries Commission, Sports Confederation, KZN Sport and Recreation and the KZN Academy have all come to the party.

“The Recreation department funded a camp in Kimberly to help us acclimatize and the Academy has provided us with physiotherapists to enhance our fitness levels. Sasol and SAFA must also be thanked”, enthused the captain.

Chatting about the upcoming National Champs, the talented young star is quietly confident.

“We are working hard in training and have already had great preparation. We feel that we are ready but are also remaining humble and keeping our feet firmly on the ground. The league itself was a great challenge where we could truly test ourselves”, she said.

The youngster also alluded to long-term goals which include being part of the national league next year.

“Yeah we obviously want to be a part of that but the key is to focus on the here and now. The main aim is doing well in the national finals. It is not going to be easy as our competitors are also champions but there is a lot at stake and we will give it our best shot”, concluded Shazi.

‘Destined to lead’ – the club motto that aptly reflects the characteristics of the Durban Ladies captain and the team as a whole. If such characteristics are anything to go by, the team’s competitors are in for a tough time come the national finals, which runs from 1-9 December 2018 in Kimberly.

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