The lure of winning trophies was Mamelodi Sundowns’ trump card in securing George Maluleka’s signature, coach Pitso Mosimane has revealed.
Now a former Kaizer Chiefs player, the midfielder left Naturena to put pen to paper on a three-year contract at Chloorkop, a move that was confirmed on July 1 following a decision by Amakhosi not to hold on to the player for the remainder of the season.
Maluleka’s initial deal at Chiefs had expired a day earlier.
“People say we took Maluleka, how can we take a player that doesn’t want to come to us? He wanted to, of course, that’s why he is here. It’s not us taking the guy, the guy wants to play for us also,” Mosimane told journalists.
He suggested that the conversation was made easier by the club’s success in winning silverware compared to Chiefs, who have now gone five years without a trophy.
“I told him, ‘do you want to win trophies, come here’. That side (Chiefs) are you guaranteed? It’s a fact. I said the reference is here. The same for coach Rulani (Mokwena) – I told him, do you want trophies? Stay here. You can experiment and whatever, but trophies are here. Sit here and lift trophies,” explained the coach.
Asked if he would have insisted that ‘Mido’ finish the season at Naturena if he were the coach, Mosimane replied in the affirmative.
“If I was the coach at Chiefs, I would keep him hey. Why not? But you must also understand though that sometimes this is beyond you as the coach. You are employed by the club owners, it’s their club and they can decide they don’t want him,” he said.
“If it’s me – I would have done it. When I was at SuperSport United, (goalkeeper) Calvin Marlin signed a pre-contract with Sundowns and he played all the games. Bongani Zungu had already signed a pre-contract (in Portugal) and he stayed with us. Do you think a credible player like George Maluleka would score an own goal for us? Nah guys, these guys are professionals. It’s like you serving your notice for the last month, so you won’t come to work? It doesn’t work like that. Your integrity has been there for the last eight years. Do you really want to spoil it? No. If he had done that, then we would have also wondered about the kind of player we signed.”
Story by @superjourno
In this week's edition of Soccer Laduma, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane sits down for a no-holds-barred interview, where he discusses the challenges this past season and the season finale drama. On sale now!
Check out the list of NINE other players joining Mido at Downs!