Why Jabulani Mendu backs Sundowns to walk away with league title

Sandile Ndlovu and Jabulani Mendu (R) while at Sundowns in 2005.
Sandile Ndlovu and Jabulani Mendu (R) while at Sundowns in 2005.
Image: Muntu Vilakazi.

Barely five matches into the new Absa Premiership campaign, retired midfielder Jabulani Mendu is already convinced that one of his former clubs, Mamelodi Sundowns, will easily walk away with the R15m prize money.

Sundowns are the only unbeaten side in the league, with two wins and two draws.

The fifth-placed Brazilians are one match behind the league schedule, thanks to their participation in the taxing CAF Champions League, a tournament coach Pitso Mosimane has been prioritising.

"The whole day, the whole night, the whole year, I'll always say Mamelodi Sundowns will win the league.

"The club is a well-oiled machine," said the ebullient Mendu, who is one of the ambassadors of the ongoing COPA Coca-Cola Under-15 tournament.

"Many people say playing the Champions League puts you on the back foot in the league, but I have a different opinion... the experience of playing in Africa is priceless and it helps you with a lot of things. Sundowns' winning mentality was honed in the Champions League."

"S-Curl", as Mendu is known to his peers, may have enjoyed his football at Kaizer Chiefs, but the dreadlocked former midfielder feels it will take at least two seasons for Amakhosi to build a team that can challenge for the league title, notwithstanding the fact they're top of the table.

"Chiefs are still building a team; it'll take about two seasons for them to have a competitive side. Most of the players they've signed recently have not won anything, so you still have to teach them about the culture of winning," said Mendu.

Mendu, 43, also described this year's COPA Coca-Cola tournament as the "best ever" as far as talent and quality of players are concerned.

"What has upped the standard is that now schools hire qualified coaches to coach football... in the past it was teachers who were coaching these boys."

The competition at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, KwaZulu-Natal, ends on Sunday.

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