Coaching trio was Downs’ secret to success

3-0 win puts the icing on record fourth Premiership title in a row

Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate winning the DStv Premiership at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday
JOYFUL OCCASION: Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate winning the DStv Premiership at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday

The respect coaches Manqoba Mngqithi, Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela have for each other was the recipe for Mamelodi Sundowns’s success in this past season.

These were the words of co-coach Mngqithi after Sundowns were crowned the DStv Premiership champions  on Saturday.

Sundowns  ended the season on a high note after convincingly defeating Cape Town City 3-0 at  Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

When Komphela joined Mngqithi and Mokwena at the beginning of the season, many did not understand how they were going to work and thought there would be a battle of egos among them.

But Mngqithi, who is the leader, said they have mutual respect and it was easy because everyone knew their responsibilities.

“What normally creates problems is lack of direction and clarity in situations like this,” Mngqithi said.

“I think that’s one of my strengths as a person and I know in a position of leadership you must always be considerate with the rest of the group and the people you are leading.

“Have compassion because at times, if you are selfish as a leader you step on other people’s toes. 

“But a little bit of selflessness and humility because at times you have to compromise a lot, but there is mutual respect.”

The 50-year-old coach also believes they have proven themselves to people who doubted them and believed they would fail as a technical team.

“People are also willing to be led and it makes the job easier. But more than anything else, we’ve always been colleagues and maybe friends to a certain extent,” he said.

“But we knew the responsibilities that we were given by Sundowns. It was not merely a leadership of the Sundowns team, but also a picture that we wanted to paint to the SA public.

“If the three of us failed because of egos or selfishness, we would have confirmed the feelings of many people out there that black people can’t work together.

“We had a deeper responsibility to do it for our black people to affirm the ability to work together with all the capacity they have.

“All of us are coaches that can stand alone and a lot of people have questioned why we have to work together but to understand the responsibility of Sundowns is not only to conquer the PSL.”

Having dominated the PSL by winning their record 11th title, Mngqithi said their target was to conquer the continent by winning the Caf Champions League again.

“We have a big responsibility to win the Champions League and compete in the Club World Cup and compete in that space.”