Mamelodi Sundowns have returned from the international break and are in preparation for another round of thrilling action in the DStv Premiership as 2021 draws to a close.
The champions returned to the training pitch after the completion of the World Cup qualifiers that saw some of the club’s players take part in national duty. Rushine De Reuck, Divine Lunga and Peter Shalulile were the players that were selected to represent their countries in the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup Qualifiers for South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia respectively – with none of their sides progressing through to the next round.
Masandawana stepped up their preparations on Monday as they got everything set to return to their winning ways and continue with their impressive start to the domestic season, with the calendar only consisting of league games for the rest of November and December.
The international break provided some players the opportunity to explore and step away from football routine. Slovak striker Pavol Šafranko has spent over three months with Bafana Ba Style is one of the players that used his international break card with satisfaction and recently celebrated his 27th birthday. Šafranko identified his favorite South African meal that he enjoys. “One of the things I enjoy about South Africa is oxtail and pap”, said the striker
Šafranko is one of the players that have registered their names in Masandawana’s scoring books, securing goals when it matters the most like his equalizing goal in the MTN8 quarter finals against the Durban-based Golden Arrows. Safranko has already left his mark on the hearts of his opponents Swallows FC, Golden Arrows and Marumo Gallants where he attained his three goals for The Brazilians this season. Downs’ perfect form has taken the club to greater heights in domestic competition, an impressive eight wins out of the nine games played and successive clean sheets is the tip of their recent achievements.
Speaking on his start to life in South African football, Pavol commented on how he has managed to settle and integrate himself into the team: “It’s interesting and very different to be honest, but I am trying to learn every day how I can help the team. Sundowns is an amazing club with amazing people.”
The lofty striker, who enjoys laughing and having light hearted moments with his new teammates rated the goalkeeping department to be the most amusing part of the group.
“The funniest I would say is a tight battle between Denis Onyango and Reyaad Pieterse, those two guys are really funny. I can’t particularly point to only one person that I am close with in the team, there is Divine Lunga, George Maluleka, Brian Onyango, Kermit Erasmus and Ricardo Nascimento – if I can just mention a few. There’s so many good people in this team I can’t choose.”
Mamelodi Sundowns are back in action on Saturday, 20 November against Cape Town City.