Durban — Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has said that his side will support Peter Shalulile in his race to break the all-time Premiership scoring record but insists that it’s not the most important thing.
With 22 league goals to his name, Shalulile is destined to win the Golden Boot award this season. However, he will need to score a hat-trick in Downs’ last league game of the season against Royal AM on Saturday to tie Collins Mbesuma’s 2004/05 record of 25 goals and will need four goals to break the record.
“We have to support all players and make sure that the environment is suitable to helping them achieve what they want to. Everyone is talking about the records and we are happy that he is the top scorer. We will support him if needs be in the upcoming game. If we get a free-kick, we will let him take it. For him to break the record will be a legacy that he can leave behind. He is still young enough to break the record in years to come,” Mngqithi told Journalists during a press conference in Johannesburg.
Mnqgithi also paid tribute to Royal AM who have been one of the surprise packages of the season. The Durban based club will be hungry to get points against Sundowns as they look to secure second spot.
Should John Maduka’s side finish in the runners-up spot this season, they will attain qualification to next season’s CAF Champions League. This will be an impressive achievement when considering that this is their first season in the top-flight.
Mnqgithi also believes that the recent promotion of Royal AM’s provincial rivals Richards Bay FC to the top-flight ahead of next season could lead to a gradual power shift in South African football from the Gauteng clubs to the Kwa-Zulu Natal based ones.
Should Royal AM finish second this season, they will also become the second side from KZN to qualify for Africa’s Premier Club competition in consecutive seasons after AmaZulu did last season.
“Royal AM have done tremendously well. Nobody thought they would be in the top eight considering the turmoil that happened at the start of the season. They have raised the flag of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It’s very big for KZN to have another team in the top three. With Richards Bay now having won promotion, KZN have five teams in the league. They might now stand a chance of challenging for the Championship. Gauteng teams regularly challenge for the championship because they don’t have to travel as much. Coastal teams regularly have to be out of the province,” he said.