Sundowns new boys learn to toe the line

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has laid down the law to the team's new players with their three-month performance assessments due.

The new signings have discovered that things work a little differently at Chloorkop, with professional conduct expected on and off the field.

The pedantic Mosimane runs a tight ship with every player expected to adhere to a strict code of conduct. Those who do not remain professional are discarded, just like we saw most recently with midfielder Mzikayise Mashaba.

Oupa Manyisa, George Lebese and Rivaldo Coetzee could have had it easy at their previous clubs, but at Sundowns things are a little different.

"The expectation is for players to behave professionally but the biggest thing is understanding the culture of Sundowns. They must be competitive whether we are in the Champions League or in the PSL - every match is like a final," Sundowns communications manager Thulani Thuswa said.

"What Pitso has instilled in the players is hard work. The players analyse opposition and our own games. It's [the onus is] upon each player to do the hard work behind the scenes because we treat everybody as a professional."

At their previous clubs, both Manyisa and Lebese had at times made newspaper headlines for the wrong reasons.

Overall, Sundowns have had a good disciplinary record with players largely staying out of the tabloids. Recently, however, Ivorian striker Yannick Zakri spoiled that record after reports of an alleged extramarital matter.

"You don't really read a lot about our players in the papers doing things that footballers get up to. Work keeps them occupied," Thuswa added.

"If there are problems and the club is brought into disrepute, then the disciplinary procedures are enforced and they are fined if need be, or worse."

Professionalism during games is also a non-negotiable.


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