The lobby at Moses Mabhida Stadium looked like an amusement park after Mamelodi Sundowns won the Telkom Knockout last week with a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
The lobby at Moses Mabhida Stadium looked like an amusement park after Mamelodi Sundowns won the Telkom Knockout last week with a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Pitso plays Santa with players

By Bonginkosi Ndadane Time of article published Dec 21, 2019

Share this article:

The lobby at Moses Mabhida Stadium looked like an amusement park after Mamelodi Sundowns won the Telkom Knockout last week with a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United. 

Despite it being late into the Saturday night, children were playing while their mothers chased after them and their fathers toasted being champions. 

Coach Pitso Mosimane did this on purpose, allowing the players' family members to mingle with the team and be at their hotel in their long stay in Durban which saw them play the final on Saturday and then take on Bidvest Wits at the same stadium on Tuesday.

This was a “bribe” of sorts from Mosimane as such scenes won’t be possible in Christmas for these players. It’s also going to be tough in January as the club will be playing catch-up in the Absa Premiership and fighting for the CAF Champions League. It demands a lot from the players physically and emotionally, robbing them of family time.

“I have to give credit to the boys because they are the ones living this life of three games in seven days,” Mosimane said. “We are playing against well rested teams. But we have the boys to play there’s no excuse, we have to play. It doesn’t mean that the league is overloading us, if we didn’t play the game against Stellenbosch before the final, when were we going to play it? Have you seen our programme in January? We are in trouble."

Mosimane continued, “That’s why I want the families to come into the pitch, I want the children to come and be everywhere. Even at training they are everywhere because we are trying to make sure that they are part of the family. I am buying them, because on the 23rd we are going away and on the 27th we will be on the pitch (playing in the Champions League against USM Alger). Where is the Christmas for them? What am I going to do? But it is their lives. They decided to play for Mamelodi Sundowns and when you play for Sundowns you can never be a well rested player.”

Sundowns play Polokwane City tonight at Loftus Versfeld in their last league game of the year. While their rivals will be resting, they will travel to Algiers next week for their clash with USM Alger. Their new year will begin on the 4th with a clash against AmaZulu in Durban.

Bonginkosi Ndadane

Share this article: