CAPE TOWN – He is one of the hottest new players on the PSL scene, and he will remain at Mamelodi Sundowns for the foreseeable future.
Sphelele Mkhulise signed a five-year contract with Masandawana on Wednesday, making it a breakthrough deal for the 22-year-old.
Mkhulise came into the first team via the club’s academy, but had to go on loan over the last few years at Black Leopards and Richards Bay.
However, head coach Pitso Mosimane recalled the midfielder to Chloorkop during the off-season, and he caught the eye with a top display against Kaizer Chiefs in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup.
In addition to Mkhulise, tough-tackling Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento also had his contracted extended by three years on Wednesday.
The retention of Mkhulise and Nascimento comes after Mosimane signed Phakamani Mahlambi from Egyptian giants Al Ahly last week.
Sundowns’ next match after the international window is against AmaZulu at the King Zwelithini Stadium on September 16 (3pm), and their coach is confident that they can hit back with a vengeance after being knocked out of the Caf Champions League and MTN8 in recent weeks.
“To be playing where we are in the Champions League you’ve got to win the league. As I told you the last time, we are still babies in the Champions League,” Mosimane told the Sundowns website.
“You come to the MTN8 and lose in the semi-finals, it’s okay. It’s not right that you lost. but the team must play and it must get the stress.
“There’s still a lot to play for. There are four competitions remaining, I am not saying that we are going to win all four, but you keep going.
“Let’s wait for the combination of Ali Mezza and Toni Silva to settle. Let me incorporate Lebogang Maboe in this programme.
“Phakamani Mahlambi also still needs to come in. Mosa Lebusa played well against Cape Town City. I am not coaching for tomorrow, one match. I am here for the long-haul.”@ashfakmohamed