Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is among the nominees for the Caf Coach of the Year award. Photo: Muzi Ntombela BackpagePix
The meteoric rise of Pitso Mosimane in Africa continued when he was named among the nominees for the Caf Coach of the Year award this week.

The Mamelodi Sundowns coach is facing competition from the likes of Aliou Cisse (national coach of Senegal), Christian Gross (Zamalek), Corentin Martins (Mauritania), Djamel Belmadi (Algeria), Faouzi Benzarti (Wydad Athletic Club), Gernot Rohr (Nigeria), Moine Chaabani (Esperance) and Nicolas Dupuis (Madagascar).

Mosimane has taken the Chloorkop-based team to the point where it has been ranked among the favourites to win Africa’s premier club competition in recent seasons. Mosimane says he is humbled by his nomination.

“I don’t want to get over myself. Firstly, I would say congratulations to Denis Onyango (who was nominated for the Caf African Footballer of the Year) and Percy Tau who is still our boy (is also nominated),” Mosimane said, trying to shift the spotlight away from him.

“They (the players) have done well. We’ve been nominated for the team not ourselves. We, as the coaches, can act big but we don’t play. The players are on the field but I’m humbled. I appreciate the fact that I’ve been acknowledged. Once you are in that space, that’s important. When you win it, it is cherry on top,” Mosimane said after his side’s 1-0 victory over AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday.

Mosimane emerged as the best coach in Africa in 2016 after he guided Sundowns to greatness in the Caf Champions League and the Caf Super Cup.

“I was nominated with Micho (Milutin Sredojevic), Florent Ibenge (of DRC Congo) and the coach of Esperance in 2016, I got it,” he added.

Sundowns crashed out of the semi-finals of the Caf Champions League last season but won the domestic league. His second nomination means a lot to him.

“But I stay humble. As long as the continent acknowledges us and Denis Onyango, I think that’s enough. It is enough, we just represent the club. It just shows how good the PSL is. I always say don’t underestimate or undermine the PSL, it is a tough league. The coaches who have come to this league will tell you how difficult it is. Absa Premiership is tough for a lot of coaches. When you come here it is not easy, my friend.

"I want to thank the supporters, I want to thank the players and I want to thank the yellow nation that is always singing and they are putting up great shows. I want to thank the board, the president of the club Dr Patrice Motsepe for supporting me and for believing in me."

Mosimane is one of the most decorated coaches in South African football in the Premier Soccer League era.

“What I’m doing, I’m carrying the South African flag. That’s important, if I’m nominated, I’ll say I come from South Africa. In Egypt they know. Look at how well the Under 23 did there. We are running a big thing as a country. I always feel that we can do better. The sky’s the limit,” said Mosimane.

@minenhlecr7


The Star