Africa-Press – Lesotho. Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis sang praises of Mehalalitoe captain Boitumelo ‘Queen’ Rabale, describing her as unplayable when she is on song. ‘Queen’, as the player is affectionately known, had an impressive campaign with Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies at the just ended CAF Women’s Champions League in Morocco.
However, the Tshwane outfit failed to defend their title after going down 4-0 to Morocco’s ASFAR Club in the final on Sunday. But for her impressive displays in the tournament, Rabale was rewarded with a place in the 2022 CAF Women’s Champion Best XI after bagging two Women’s Player of the Match awards as well as scoring three goals to help Sundowns reach the final for the second successive year.
Rabale was also in the team of the tournament at the COSAFA Women’s Championship that was held in Port Elizabeth in August. Ellis, who in July led South Africa’s Banyana Banyana to their maiden Africa Cup of Nations title, described Rabale as a player who is sometimes unplayable when she is in her best form.
“She has a sweet left foot, where she is very good with freekicks and also providing her teammates with brilliant passes,” the Banyana Banyana coach said.
“I sometimes watch the Hollywoodbets Super League and I have seen games where she is unplayable especially when they play against teams that do not put Sundowns under pressure.
“She is very effective when she has the space to play and give out those passes with her sweet left foot.
The Banyana Banyana coach first fell in love with the Mehalalitoe skipper back in 2016 while the 26-year-old was still in the books of Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies.
Rabale earned the praises of the Banyana Banyana coach after leading the now defunct Celtic Ladies to the then Sasol League National Championship title, which lead to her being named the Diski Queen of the Tournament.
The 59-year-old coach, who has won the CAF Women’s Coach of the Year three times, told South Africa reporters then that she had pictured Rabale playing for her Banyana Banyana team.
Quizzed whether Rabale would still make her team, Ellis feels it would now be difficult for the Lesotho star to play regularly as she has bulked up and is no longer as agile as she used to be.
“I remember talking about her in 2016 when I did not know she was a Lesotho international,” Ellis recalls.
“I think sometimes even the Sundowns system does not suit her or their whole team struggles against teams that do not give them space to play their passing game.
“It would be difficult for her to make my team now and maybe she would make a place on the bench because she has bulked up compared to when I first saw her in 2016.
Despite the heartbreak of failing to defend both their regional and continental crown with Sundowns, Rabale still has a good chance of finishing the campaign with silverware as the Brazilians are at the summit of the Hollywoodbets Super League. They are on 73 points after 27 games while second placed TUT FC have 59 points and have a played a game more.