Pitso Mosimane, Head coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, the newly crowned 2013/14 Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions, has vindicated himself and emphatically silenced detractors who questioned the capabilities of local black football coaches to deliver in top flight football. He has become the first black coach in the PSL era to win the championship.
Mosimane’s ‘imported’ predecessors cost the club a fortune in salaries and did not pay their dues, in spite of their mammoth reputations. Temperamental Hristo Stoichkov was a 1994 World Cup semi-finalist with Bulgaria and standoffish Johan Neeskens, part of the illustrious Dutch Side of 1974 who perfected the system of passing opponents into submission called ‘total football’. Both might have been consummate players in their heyday with Barcelona, but, on evidence of their spells with Sundowns, did not make good coaches.
Instead of claiming that he lost his job as the coach of Bafana Bafana ‘because I am black’, Mosimane dusted himself from the fall, took it like a man and soldiered on. Taking charge of a Sundown’s side that was spoiled for choice in highly paid talent but devoid of team spirit, he had work cut out for him. Backed by a technical team, that had, amongst others, former Golden Arrows Coach, Manqoba Mngqithi, and former Sundown Player, Alex Bapela, Mosimane made the players understand that talent counted for nothing without unity of purpose.
If he needed to be blunt to get his message across, Mosimane pulled no punches. “I told Teko (Modise) that you are at age where you don’t need to be flashy,” says Mosimane, whose coaching methods and candour are likened to Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho’s. Then, Teko didn’t take kindly to what Mosimane said, but now he has won his first championship and is in contention for the 2014 PSL Player of the Year. Result: Team work 1 Ego 0!
Who said black local coaches can’t do it? Just give them a chance!
Patrice Motsepe, Chairman of Mamelodi Sundowns, has been lauded for giving Mosimane a chance to prove himself. His decision is proof positive of the dividends of voluntary transformation in organisations.
For those not willing to put their houses in order, Minister of Sports, Fikile Mbalula, issued a stern warning: “The national anthem, national colours and national symbols can no longer be used to honour and decorate events of racist, sexist and divisive sports bodies.
“No teams or individuals participating in major events at home and abroad will receive government support if they are not responsive to the transformation needs of their sector.”Share this article on Social Networks