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Tembo on Mosimane's passion as a coach: 'Coach Pitso cried‚ there at training'

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane started his career as assistant coach to former Liverpool legendary goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane started his career as assistant coach to former Liverpool legendary goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo says he began to be inspired as a coach when he was still a player under Pitso Mosimane‚ relating the passion of a man who one day broke down crying when Bruce Grobbelaar wanted to cancel a training session.

Long-time SuperSport assistant Tembo (49) has impressed as head coach‚ steering Matsatsantsa to the MTN8 trophy and third place in the Absa Premiership this season before football was suspended due to the coronavirus in mid-March.

He often earns high praise from Mamelodi Sundowns’ trophy-endowed boss Mosimane‚ who coached Tembo as a player at SuperSport from 2001 to the dynamic Zimbabwean centreback’s retirement in 2006.

“Pitso is one person who’s really inspired me.

"I think in terms of mentality as a player‚ I had the same mentality as him when he was coaching me‚ because he was very ambitious‚” Tembo told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association (Safja).

“He’s one coach who always wanted to win‚ and he’ll do anything to get that.

"He’s very hard working‚ and he taught me how to analyse matches when I was still playing.

“He would call me and say go and record that game – I will need you to watch one‚ two‚ three‚ four.

“And it was also easy for me to also relay the message to the other players. Because he would come to my place‚ with Thomas [Madigage‚ Mosimane’s late SuperSport assistant].

“They both played a huge role in me becoming a coach because they started preparing me when I was already playing.

“He’s one person I will always support because I know he’s also a little bit misunderstood‚ because he’s ambitious and driven.”

Tembo recalled an incident when Mosimane displayed his passion crying tears at a training session in either the 1999-00 or 2000-01 seasons as assistant to former Liverpool and Zimbabwe goalkeeper Grobbelaar‚ then SuperSport’s head coach.

“I’m not surprised where Pitso is now‚ because I saw it when he was assistant-coach to Bruce‚ and we were fighting relegation at that moment‚” Tembo said.

“The bosses came to address us. And they took long and we were at training already.

“After they addressed us Bruce just said‚ ‘Nah’ – he wanted to cancel training. Coach Pitso cried‚ there at training. Because for him it became so personal.

“That’s why some players don’t last with him. Because if you’re not really committed you can’t last with him.

“He literally cried. But for me it seems positive because I saw someone who really could go far. Because at that moment he didn’t really care who was watching.

“He could see that we were fighting relegation‚ and we had to fight and put more effort in training.”

PSL clubs can currently submit their certification that they are compliant with the league’s government-approved directive for a return to training‚ paving the way for a return to play behind closed doors in a biologically safe environment within a month to six weeks.