New boy Mauricio Affonso finally got a taste of South African football when he put on the Mamelodi Sundowns shirt in a pre-season friendly against TS Sporting, a match that ended 1-1 in Nelspruit on Saturday.
The South American has joined Sundowns on a five-year deal and has already been getting a feel for playing for the defending Absa Premiership champions having met coach Pitso Mosimane and joined the squad almost immediately after he signed for the Brazilians last week.
“I am excited and I think I am adjusting well so far. The coach gave me 45 minutes and I almost got a goal as well,” said Affonso.
“What is important for me now is working on my fitness, but I feel I am well on my way there because I never stopped training during the off season. I believe my teammates will push me as well because the level of skill here is very good and being with them in Nelspruit was a good way to get to know everyone and see for myself the professionalism of all the players here.”
The 27-year-old managed four goals and two assists in his final eight games for his Peruvian First Division outfit, Club Alianza Lima, before he took the big step to move to South Africa and join Sundowns.
“I feel a little bit more settled now. I have found where I am going to stay and I can’t wait for the season to start so I can contribute to the team’s success. I have also spoken to the coach about what he expects of me this season,” the lanky striker added.
Affonso said he has set himself some personal targets that he feels are achievable even though this will be his debut season for the Brazilians.
“I have looked at the scoring record of previous top goal scorers for the club and it is very impressive. So I hope to be part of that history. And I want to experience the continent as well because I have heard a lot of stories, but I want to see it for myself when the season starts,” he said.