Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns full-back Thapelo Morena believes that his side have enough quality and depth to again go all the way in the CAF Champions League.
The Brazilians advanced to the Champions League group stages for a second year running after beating Ugandan side Kampala Capital City Authority 3-2 aggregate.
"Although there is still a long way to go in our Champions League's campaign, I can tell you that there is a spirit of optimism and willingness in the team," Morena exclusively told Vodacom Soccer.
"We have that strong belief that we have what it takes to take on any opposition as the tournament progresses to another stage.
"Being the defending champions, we are well aware that we will be facing a tougher challenge than any other team in the tournament because every opposition team is bound to up their game against us, just as Ugandan side KCCA recently did against us."
The 23-year-old, who has switched to right wing in the presence of seasoned right-back Anele Ngcongca, is also feeling honoured to be part of the Brazilians' side taking part in the continent's revered soccer tournament.
"Last season I wasn't part of the team's squad that successfully participated in the tournament, but I'm happy and feeling honoured being part of the team in this season's campaign," he added.
"There is no doubt that we have enough quality and depth in our team's squad. Having the likes of experienced players like Hlompho (Kekana), Denis (Onyango), Teko (Modise), Tebogo (Langerman) and Fares (Hachi), comes us a plus factor for the team's cause."
Hachi, the 26-year-old Algerian-born left-back comes with Champions League experience, having featured for Algerian side ES Setif, who also played against 'Downs during the last season's Champions League campaign.
The Randfontein-born attacking midfielder joined the Chloorkop-based side before beginning of the current season, has quickly established himself as a key man in Pitso Mosimane's side.
He has made two starts in Sundowns' two Champions League's matches to date, since the continental tournament's resumption this season.