A couple of months ago questions were being asked whether Pitso Mosimane’s time at Mamelodi Sundowns was coming to an end. However, after signing a new long-term deal and heading into the restart targeting a possible treble, his dynasty is looking stronger than ever, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
Since joining the Brazilians in 2012, taking over from Dutchman Johan Neeskens, ‘Jingles’ has won four Premier Soccer League (PSL) titles, the Caf Champions League and Super Cup trophies, as well as two Telkom Knockout (TKO) trophies and the Nedbank Cup.
The second of those TKO titles came in December when Downs beat Maritzburg United to win their first piece of silverware of the 2019-20 season. Despite missing out on what Pitso and Sundowns consider the holy grail – the Caf Champions League – after a quarter-final exit at the hands of Egyptian giants Al Ahly, the 55-year-old and his side remained firmly in the league title race while also progressing to the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup.
Despite the contract renewal talks between Mosimane and the Chloorkop-based outfit seemed to drag on, it was eventually confirmed that the former Bafana Bafana coach had signed a new four-year deal with Downs. The announcement came as the league was suspended while the country was placed in Covid-19 lockdown.
A message from Coach Pitso Mosimane.
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) May 21, 2020
pOne of the main reasons for me to renew my contract with Mamelodi Sundowns is the President’s trust and faith in me – he trusted me to lead this team to where it is – and fulfil his wish to build a team to conquer Africa,’ said Mosimane following his renewal.
‘To go on and be the longest-serving coach at the club is something special and that means we have a lot of things we have done together and the best is yet to come. The sky is the limit.’
Mosimane added that he is aiming to bring more success to the club and continue challenging for honours, both locally and on the continent.
All the business at Chloorkop since that announcement has suggested that Mosimane is hungrier than ever.
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) August 1, 2020
First came the return of the ‘prodigal son’ as Rhulani Mokwena was reinstated in his assistant coach role under Mosimane following his impressive spell at Orlando Pirates.
After receiving what Mosimane called an ‘improved Rhulani’, the Brazilians confirmed the signings of George Maluleka from Kaizer Chiefs and promising winger Lesedi Kapinga from Black Leopards while also promoting several youth products to the first team.
‘Good prospect, good player, we are trying to get as many young players as possible to strengthen the team as a backup of the older players, and he fits the programme with his age and style of play,’ Mosimane told the media following Kapinga’s arrival.
More signs pointing to reinvigoration of the Sundowns squad with a view to the future.
iDiski Ibuyile. We take on Bidvest Wits Esgodin Sikamaminzela.👆
⚽ Mamelodi Sundowns Vs Bidvest Wits
📆 08 August
🏟 Orlando Stadium
🏆 Nedbank Cup
📲 #Sundowns #NedbankCup2020 pic.twitter.com/9rNQhVfMWR
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) August 6, 2020
Downs will now kick off their restart in a blockbuster semi-final clash with Bidvest Wits, whose sale and subsequent issues have been well documented, and are possibly just two wins away from a second cup success of the season.
They also sit just four points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs and also have a game on hand on the Glamour Boys ahead of the restart – they will be undoubtedly be eyeing a third successive league triumph and an unprecedented treble.
Here are our confirmed dates for our remaining games!✅
It’s going to be a busy 5️⃣ weeks for The Brazilians, for more details 👇
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) July 31, 2020
Considering all the success Sundowns has enjoyed and continue to enjoy under Mosimane, the fact that the 55-year-old remains committed and focused can only spell trouble for the other South African clubs and, indeed, the giants across the continent.
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