Mamelodi Sundowns has had players display versatility in occupying different positions on the pitch during the 2022/22 season. Head Coach, Rulani Mokwena shared the importance of introducing different schemes and versatility among players to improve their skills and performance.
Some of the notable Bafana Ba Style footballers have played various positions such as Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane Aubrey Modiba, and Rivaldo Coetzee. Occasions where Morena was seen playing different positions include when Mamelodi Sundowns played against Orlando Pirates on the 30th of December 2022 where he played as a right back and has played as a striker during CAF Champions League games.
“We want to play faster and when you want to play faster, there’s going to be more chaos than order. Because of pressure, one might be found pressing in a position that is much further than their original position. So, because I moved far from that position when we lose the ball, a player like Aubrey Modiba must defend in the Midfield and defend as a Left Back”, said the Masandawana Coach as he explained how the versatility.
Coach Rulani further mentioned that versatility comes in during games that require a different structure and the understanding of how midfielders defend will be what we teach a little bit more. He said, “When training and we introduced sessions where we have players play different roles and have a feeling of what other players in different positions go through.”
The 2022/23 DStv Premiership Coach of the Season spoke about the importance of trust when introducing changes that are possible solutions in the team. “I agree that versatility in the modern game is important. With this, players need to be comfortable on the pitch and still be dominant in the game against the opposition. It’s also crucial for the players to trust the Coach because they only trust you when you show that you can be trusted as a leader. The Coach then has the responsibility to ensure that he earns the trust of the players.”
For the last league game against Maritzburg United, Coach Rulani shared that he changed the way the team was supposed to play on the day before the game after their training session, making Rivaldo Coetzee play two positions during that game. He applauded Rivaldo’s ability to play as a Centre Back and as a Midfielder in the same game and highlighted how the trust between them made the smooth transition possible.
The Brazilians Coach also communicated that the quality and ability of the players to be able to do certain things are educational to him as a coach because then he can watch and observe how versatile players can be. He added by revealing that Thapelo Morena and Themba Zwane have played the most positions during the 2022/23 season.