Manqoba Mngqithi is ecstatic for Mamelodi Sundowns’ co-coach Steve Komphela after league win
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JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns’ co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi is very happy for senior coach Steve Komphela who finally won his first major domestic title as a coach after being unfortunate for the better part of his coaching career at various clubs.
“I cannot explain how excited I am because it was one of the reasons we felt he should join us because we believe he’s got the ability. He had done a tremendous job with Kaizer Chiefs and was very unfortunate not to win a trophy,” Mngqithi said.
On Wednesday night, Sundowns returned to the pinnacle of South African football after winning the league title for the fourth time in a row after defeating SuperSport United 3-1. That victory ensured that second-placed AmaZulu can't close-in on them.
Sundowns were inspired to glory by Mngqithi, Komphela and Rhulani Mokwena. Mngqithi and Mokwena were appointed as co-coaches after the departure of head coach Pitso Mosimane who joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly at the end of last season.
Since then, Sundowns bolstered their technical team with the appointment of Komphela. Despite being a journeyman, through spells at clubs such as Free State Stars, Maritzburg United, Chiefs and Golden Arrows, Komphela has never won a major title.
That misfortune, which included Chiefs’ supporters vandalising the Moses Mabhida Stadium when they lost to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup as they extended their drought spell to three years,” saw many people labelling Komphela as a “cursed coach”.
“It was not always his fault, and people were beginning to think that he’s unlucky, and some even indicated that he would bring that bad luck to us,” said Mngqithi, who admitted some time ago that he was responsible for bringing Komphela to Sundowns.
"But I always believe these things at times don't work. It's the amount of work you put in that brings you closer to the possibility of winning something, and winning the championship is even more exciting to me now - that was taken away from him.”
It is not the first time Sundowns have turned the fortunes of a highly decorated personnel around. In 2014, Teko Modise won his first league title with the Brazilians, despite having successful individual stints at SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates.
“I remember even when coach Pitso made sure we won the league for Teko, because everybody was saying Teko has got bad luck,” said Mngqithi about Modise who went on to win multiple titles with the clubs, including the coveted Champions League crown.
"But at times, people tend to stigmatise and think you're never meant to achieve something (in your life and career). The unfortunate part is that it's us as the black nation that always look at it in that way, instead of supporting each other."