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Mamelodi Sundowns

Downs Mentor: Chiefs, Bucs Reclaiming SA’s Football Identity

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says it is about time South Africa reclaims its football identity.

Mngqithi believes for SA football to do so, DStv Premiership club bosses need to show faith in local coaches as they understand the dynamics of SA football and its players.

Only four coaches are at the helm out of the 16 teams in SA’s topflight, and the Downs co-coach has urged club owners and SA football fans not to blacken the name of local coaches but instead support them.

“We must be supportive of our local coaches and not always point a gun at them; that’s my wish,” Mngqithi said to the media.

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The Downs mentor went on to shower praise on Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Arthur Zwane, Orlando Pirates’ co-coaches Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi, Baroka’s interim coach Vincent Kobola and Kurt Lentjies, as he believes they have displayed their capabilities to advance football in the country.

“I think coaches like Arthur and Dillon, Kobola at Baroka if you look at the change that they have made in a very short space of time, requires that our SA media must also try not to be pessimistic towards our people,” added Mngqithi.

“I think they deserve the support and opportunity from you guys [the media]. I really do believe that SA coaches are showing promise. Look at what Kurt Lentjies is doing at Chippa; the team is looking good and doing very well. Kobola is doing very well, and Arthur and Dillon [Sheppard], in a very short space of time. 

“Honestly speaking, I now want to watch matches that are played by these teams because I see a lot of what I identify with in terms of how SA expects football to be played.

“I do believe it’s in that way that we will be able to improve the quality of football even in our national team because if our contests are not second ball and set pieces, we would have a chance and supported by our own people,” concluded the Downs tactician.

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