Pitso Mosimane encourages SA football coaches to emulate himself‚ Trevor Noah and Black Coffee
Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has encouraged South African football coaches to emulate himself‚ Trevor Noah and Black Coffee as South Africans testing themselves abroad.
Mosimane took one of the toughest coaching jobs in Africa leaving the comfort of Mamelodi Sundowns – where he had won 11 trophies in eight years and signed a new four-year contract – in a bombshell move to the continent’s club of the 20th Century in late September.
As Mosimane prepares his team for the Fifa Club World Cup‚ where Ahly meet host club Al-Duhail of Qatar in the second round on February 4‚ he was asked about South Africans’ support – including Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates fans – for him at the tournament.
Mosimane encouraged SA football coaches to emulate himself‚ comedian Noah at the US TV Daily Show‚ and DJ Black Coffee as South Africans taking the step to the international stage.
“They [Chiefs and Pirates supporters] are being patriotic and they support somebody who is representing the country outside‚” the coach told a press conference of the SA Football Journalists’ Association.
“Ja‚ we have to carry the national flag. You can see in my pictures‚ the top stages [of competitions]‚ I have got my South African flag.
“I come from humble beginnings – I come from the township. And it’s a route that I want to say to a township boy‚ that it is possible. And that’s what Trevor Noah is doing‚ that’s what Black Coffee is doing‚ and that’s what a lot of guys are showing.
“[It’s about] black excellence and that we can come from humble beginnings. And let’s not settle only for‚ you’ve [SA media] got a term that you use of ‘Amabinneplaas’ [locally-based]. And let’s look beyond the border.
“And I’m the first one to admit that maybe I could have looked at it before. In life they say it’s always the right time.
“Simba [in Tanzania] once had a vacancy. Somebody asked me about it last year‚ and said‚ ‘Coach can you please recommend coaches to go to Simba to come and coach in the Champions League group stages against Al Ahly?’
“And some of the coaches who I know did not take the chance. But‚ I don’t know – it’s up to you. You will know that when you go to Simba the lifestyle is not the same.
“And I don’t have the same here [in Egypt]. The lifestyle is different‚ the country is different‚ the food is different. I don’t have my social life that I have in South Africa. So you sacrifice for the best.
“That’s why [European-based ex-Sundowns players] Percy Tau‚ Bongani Zungu and Keagan Dolly sacrifice to stay through mid-winters. So it’s up to the coaches. How far do you want it?
“Here it’s tough. Even if I signed a two-year contract it can be a six-month contract. But I needed to test [myself].
“You’ve got to do what you have to do‚ and fight‚ and say to the next person‚ ‘It is possible’.
“Nelson Mandela said‚ ‘It always looks impossible until someone does it’. We never thought he could be a president from being as prisoner.
“Amazing things happen. There are a lot of good stories. There’s Trevor Noah‚ there’s Percy Tau [recently recalled from loan to Premier League club Brighton].
“As long as we are carrying our flag. We must always carry our flag and make sure we are ambassadors of the country.”
Mosimane‚ after winning a treble at Sundowns in 2019-20‚ wrapped up a treble that included the league and Champions League at Ahly in the last few months of the Egyptian season.