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Downs still on the up-and-up

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Brazilians bring necessary reinforcements on board that will ensure the club continues to dominate locally and on the continent.

Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards at Dobsonville Stadium. Picture: Samuel Shivambu BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who’s broken records for fun in the last few seasons, could find himself in a position of defying the idiom that “money cannot buy you happiness” as he continues to embark on an unprecedented shopping spree.

Dire impact

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was bound to affect most teams in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) during the transfer window, considering the dire impact it has had on the global economy.

But that wouldn’t necessarily apply if your name is Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club.

Owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, the club continued to pay the players, technical team and staff as if there was no Covid-19.

With such financial muscle, moreover, Sundowns were guaranteed to be unchallenged in the market as they beefed up the squad ahead of the new season. And they’ve done just that, considering the whopping confirmed and unconfirmed lists of arrivals for next season.

Aubrey Modiba, Peter Shalulile, Mthobi Mvala, Luvuyo Phewa, Lesedi Kapinga, Grant Magerman, Jody February, Haashim Domingo, Ricardo Goss, Gift Motupa and George Maluleka are a few of the players that are said to become Brazilians next term.

But according to Mosimane, his arrivals next season were not signed merely because they wanted to flex their financial muscles and spite rivals, but it’s necessary reinforcements that will ensure the club continues to dominate locally and on the continent.

“I think we also deserve a chance to sign a few players now. Everyone has been signing. Give us a chance also,” said Mosimane, stressing that during the previous pre-season they only signed two players, Maurico Affonso and Sammy Seabi.

“There’s a myth and perception that we’ve been signing without acknowledging youngsters. But we’ve put them on the pitch and starting line-ups. So, we don’t sign because we have to sign (but we sign because we need to strengthen the team).”

So, with more than 10 players reported to be on their way to Chloorkop ahead of the new campaign, does that mean there’ll be an overhaul, releasing players who are on the fringes and those whose legs are not as quick as they used to be?

“There won’t be an overhaul, you must be very careful,” Mosimane said.

“The guys have won many titles and the league for five times in just seven seasons. The majority of them are mostly important players, the seniors. So, we are not rocking the boat here.”

Mosimane’s entrusted brigade has delivered 10 major titles since he joined Sundowns seven and-a- half years ago. But this season they had to work even harder to secure La Decima, a record 10th Premiership title, which was Mosimane’s fifth.

But the success story of the club this season and 50th anniversary celebration could very well get a layer of icing on top.

Should Sundowns win the Nedbank Cup title against Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium tomorrow (8pm kick-off) that will complete a domestic treble after the team already bagged the league and Telkom Knockout.

All the odds favour the Brazilians to come out victorious against Phunya Selesele who are making their first appearance in a cup final since 2012. But Mosimane has been around long enough to know that he can’t count his chickens before they hatch.

“The treble is not there until you win the match,” Mosimane said modestly.

“First, the league was not on our side until those last 20 minutes and then we managed to win it. The worst thing is to think that you’ve won the treble without playing it.”