Downs are on the up and up: Five reasons why Mamelodi Sundowns deserve the league title
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JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns are the kings of South Africa – once again. They achieved that feat not only by defeating arch-rivals SuperSport United on Wednesday night, but with three matches to spare. Here is why they deserved their fourth consecutive, and eleventh overall, Premiership title.
CONTINUITY POST-MOSIMANE ERA
The abrupt resignation of former coach Pitso Mosimane set tongues wagging last year. Some felt that this was the end of Sundowns' dominance. But the club had an ace up their sleeve, appointing co-coaches and a senior coach this season.
Co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena were Mosimane's understudies in recent seasons. And that's why, alongside the newly-appointed senior coach Steve Komphela, they continued where “Jingles” left off.
SEAMLESS ADAPTATION OF PLAYERS
Players such as Peter Shalulile, Mothobi Mvala, Brian Onyango and Kermit Erasmus have made a seamless transition in Chloorkop. And it would have been an injustice for them if their efforts didn't bear fruits from the outset.
But after their triumph, these players will head to next season knowing that if they continue to work hard, there are great rewards at the end. Shalulile's efforts have seen him dominate the PSL awards nominations as he also made the cut in the Footballer of the Season category.
IMPROVING THE TEAM ADMINISTRATION
Mosimane must have felt that he was sabotaged, considering that since his departure Sundowns haven't been brought before the PSL's disciplinary committee. But kudos to Sundowns' administration for running a drama-free season as their games won are not in jeopardy. When Sundowns nearly lost out on the Nedbank Cup last season after fielding a suspended Tebogo Langerman in the final, president Patrice Motsepe said heads would roll. And it appears that team manager Peter Ndlovu has aced his duties to the T since that incident.
WINNING SPIRIT ALL ROUND AT THE CLUB
A well-structured and organised academy structure lays the foundation which builds a successful senior team. Just a few days after the Brazilians' senior side claimed the championship, their reserve team will play in the final of the Diski Rewired campaign.
Sundowns' juniors will meet AmaZulu on Sunday.
Coach Surprise Moriri, who is a club legend, took over the baton from David Notoane this season. Notoane has always emphasised the importance of winning games and grooming players for the senior team.
STARTING MOTSEPE’S HIATUS ON A HIGH NOTE
For more than a decade and a half, Motsepe has pumped billions of rands into Sundowns hoping it becomes one of the best clubs in the world. During Mosimane's reign, Motsepe saw a healthy return on his investment as Sundowns won 11 trophies.
But after taking becoming Caf president in March, Motsepe will stay away from Sundowns' affairs for at least four years. In his absence, his eldest son Thlopie will aim to steer the club to even greater heights.