The ex-Banyana Banyana skipper has a tough task of trying to stop the Brazilians running away with the championship again this season.
But she acknowledges that Downs have had to start from somewhere to become a formidable “force”, the level which her young side can reach in time.
"I think what they've done is they've journeyed so well. They also started somewhere. They did lose a couple of games, they did lose a couple of tournaments, they did lose a couple of trophies in order for learn and to get to where they are today. So, I don't think being compared to Mamelodi Sundowns should be something that scares me or my players. We are actually motivated because it means we are on the right path," Modiko said.
Part of Modiko’s mandate at UJ is to go one better than the previous season, a reputable fifth place finish, although Sundowns were 31 points ahead.
"You can't be talking Hollywoodbets and not mention Mamelodi Sundowns. Credit must go to them. They're a formidable force. They're a team that is well coached. They've got experience everywhere, from the technical team all the way to the last member of the club," she added.
She only took over at UJ last year having been an assistant to the legendary Ana Monate, and this means Modiko is still a relatively young coach.
"I believe I'm still very young as a coach. But if I'm making a name for myself and if my name is mentioned alongside Mamelodi Sundowns, UWC then I think I'm on the right path," she said.
Modiko, whose side won their opening league fixture away to Durban Ladies, says she has her own key performance indicators in judging personal and collective growth.
"As I said processes and procedures are not the same for everyone. I don't even look at my progress and want to compare it with anyone else but I just look at how I can improve. Even with the players, I consistently tell them that you don't have to be looking outwards, you always need to be in competition with yourself," she concluded.