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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist


Sundowns legend against hiring a foreign coach

“I'm not sure if a coach from outside will understand the culture of football locally and how he needs to manage certain things," said Nthethe.


Mamelodi Sundowns legend Thabo Nthethe has reservations about the club bringing in a foreign coach following the shock departure of Rulani Mokwena. The speculation around Frenchman Patrice Carteron being the hot favourite to replace Mokwena has cooled down after the return of Steve Komphela who will serve as a senior coach.

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Komphela is currently assisting Manqoba Mngqithi as the team gears up for the upcoming 2024-2025 season. It’s unclear if the Brazilians will rope in another coach to head up the technical team alongside the experienced Komphela and Mngqithi.

A Caf Champions League winner with Sundowns in 2016, Nthethe believes hiring a foreign coach might not be a good idea for the DStv Premiership champions who are also looking to add another continental crown to their cabinet.

“For me, I don’t see other coaches from outside doing well at Sundowns. I think Rulani was a good coach and Manqoba can be now that Rulani is not there because coach Steve is also there to assist him,” Nthethe said.

“I’m not sure if a coach from outside will understand the culture of football locally and how he needs to manage certain things but this is football and a coach can come from outside and end up winning a second star.”

Nthethe played under former Masandawana coach Pitso Mosimane who was assisted by Mokwena and Manqoba during their only triumph in the champions league eight years ago. Winning the domestic league and African Football League last season was deemed poor by Sundowns management who pulled the trigger on Mokwena.

“I didn’t say this coming with Rulani leavin, I thought they will definitely give him another season but the standard they set at Sundowns is at another level,” Nthethe reasoned.

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“What they need more is the champions league and I think that’s where they want to dominate. They spent a lot of money buying good players so they deserve to win the champions league. Coach Rulani didn’t get there and he lost in the semifinals twice. He hasn’t got to the final and I think for the club they said ‘no, this is not working and it’s not a good investment’ so we’d rather look for someone else.” 

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