Fresh from claiming a domestic treble, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has shared how his side ate food from the side of the road and how copying English outfits Manchester City and Liverpool paid off.
As he so often says, “Sundowns run a different race.” This was evident particularly this season, where in between a worldwide pandemic, the Brazilians played second fiddle to leaders Kaizer Chiefs for a large majority of the season, before eventually snatching the Absa Premiership title at the death, adding to their Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup successes.
Speaking to Soccer Laduma in edition 1191, ‘Jingles’ opened up on some of the struggles his squad faced during the lockdown period-including eating food from the side of the road- and how he had to look to the likes of Liverpool to ensure his side stayed on track.
“Me and our technical team, I must say upfront that our technical team was unbelievable, were looking at the leading countries to find out what they were doing. Germany was up there and so was Spain and Italy. When we looked at the fact that some of these countries were hit hard by this pandemic, we had to try and find out how did they manage to come back and play football.
“We even copied Manchester City’s model, to be honest, to see how they operated under COVID-19. We even had videos that we shared with the players, management and our medical team. We really pushed hard and were on an international platform to see how they do things and (how do we) copy them.
The first three days in our private bubble, we didn’t have chefs because they had to undergo a COVID-19 test and had to wait for their results before joining us. We had to outsource. Uyakubona ukudla okuthen-giswa estratweni bakufake kuleya container emhlophe (Do you see the food sold on the streets and put in white containers)? That’s what we had for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The quality of the food was very poor, but we had to eat,” he said.
It seemed that all the hard work and sacrifice paid off for Mosimane and his technical team as Sundowns did not record a single COVID-19 case when the virus was at its peak during their training camp hosted in Rustenburg.
“We did all of that because we didn’t want any disaster at Sundowns. We never wanted to be a team that had positive cases of this virus because we didn’t take the precautionary measures. We didn’t want to break the protocol and if anyone looks at our television programme, Sky is the Limit, you will see how we trained.
“We were the first team to come out and do virtual training. That’s because we copied Liverpool, Man City and all these other teams, how they organise parking and some of the smallest details,” Mosimane explained.
Mosimane also discusses:
- Why the pressure was on Kaizer Chiefs and not Sundowns
- Having to eat food from the streets
- Why he wasn’t interested in Chiefs’ results on the last day
Be sure to get yourself a copy of Soccer Laduma’s edition 1191, on sale now!