Mngqithi at a loss for words as Komphela wins maiden championship medal with Sundowns
Manqoba Mngqithi was at a loss for words to express his emotions after Mamelodi Sundowns colleague Steve Komphela finally won his first major trophy as a coach on Wednesday night.
The 54-year-old Komphela has been coaching professionally in South Africa for almost two decades but had never collected a winner's medal as a mentor until the Brazilians wrapped up the league title race with three matches to spare on Wednesday.
Komphela is part of the Sundowns coaching triumvirate - the other members are Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena - that was appointed by club owner Patrice Motsepe after irrepressible former coach Pitso Mosimane's departure to Egyptian powerhouses Al Ahly in September last year.
“I cannot explain how excited I am.
"One of the reasons we felt that he should come and join us [at Sundowns] was because we believed he had the quality and the ability‚” said Mngqithi.
“He did tremendous work with [former club] Kaizer Chiefs and was very unfortunate not to win a cup there‚ but he was forever in position number two or number three. He did exceptionally well‚ but unfortunately he never really got to win a trophy and it was not always his fault."
Mngqithi hopes that Komphela’s winner's medal will finally lay the unfortunate ‘bad luck’ tag‚ that has followed him for most of his career‚ to rest.
“People were beginning to think that he was just unlucky‚ and some people were saying he would bring back luck [to us at Sundowns]. I have always believed that those things about bad luck don’t work at times because the amount of work you put in brings you closer to the possibility of winning something.
“I remember when coach Pitso (Mosimane) made sure that we won the league for Teko (Modise) because everybody was saying that he had bad luck. At times people tend to stigmatise others and say you are never meant to do something. The unfortunate part for us as the black nation is that we always look at it in that way‚ instead of supporting each other.
“Check the contribution of coach Steve in our football in terms of the players that he has produced‚ especially from Free State Stars. Look at the players he gave an opportunity to at Chiefs‚ that should indicate to all of us the quality of the man‚ and the quality of the coach that he is.
“If you look at Chiefs now‚ in as much as he never won anything while he was there‚ look at where he put them and what happened after he left.
"That should indicate to everybody the impact that he had at Chiefs‚ and if he had been given more chance‚ maybe he could have done something.”