Pitso Mosimane has paid an emotional tribute to Anele Ngcongca, insisting that had he still been the coach, the defender would be at Mamelodi Sundowns, too.
Read: Mahlambi I Had To Leave
The 33-year-old died in a car crash last month in KZN, just days after concluding his season-long loan move to AmaZulu.
Ngcongca spent four years at Sundowns after he was brought to Chloorkop by Mosimane, now Al Ahly coach, having formed a bond during their Bafana Bafana days.
“I convinced Anele to come back to South Africa because he was going through injuries, he was in France not playing then he went back to Belgium and struggled with a few injuries. I used to travel to Belgium and speak to (Carlos Alberto) Parreira to say this boy will do well in the World Cup,” Mosimane told the SA Football Journalists’ Association (Safja) during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
‘Jingles’ was the Bafana assistant coach to Parreira.
“We had a big history. We played him against France, against (Franck) Ribery and we never regretted it (in the 2010 World Cup). I had that relationship with Anele – he never played in the Premier League and I went to Belgium to fetch him. And I brought him to Sundowns, but he got injured again in the first week. He was out for about four months. I was patient. What a player, he coached Thapelo Morena. He used to be a big part of my dressing room, he, Wayne Arendse and Sugar Mabunda, Hlompho (Kekana) – all the big boys. They ran my dressing room. They kept it quiet. He was part of those people.”
Mosimane then revealed his plans for Ngcongca within the Downs structures, something he said he regretted not seeing through.
“To lose him like that, young guy, it is very sad for me. He was in KZN, I don’t think he would have been playing for AmaZulu if I was Sundowns coach. I brought him back, I fought for him to stay at Sundowns,” explained Mosimane.
“I did not want him to leave. I planned how he was going to become a coach and we had started. We need to teach the players responsibility in football and we had started. I was looking at him to become part of the youth programme like Surprise Moriri, that is the path that we planned for him. I just feel different because I left, I don’t know if he would still be with us if I didn’t.”
Story by @superjourno
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