Mamelodi Sundowns is widely lauded for its winning mentality and philosophy thanks to its huge scouting network and a high-performing Academy system. In recent times, the ever-bubbling Academy structures have seen its youth and satellite teams excel in leaps and bounds.
Over the weekend, boys and girls from the Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 satellite teams were involved in a round-robin competition among themselves. The various coaches were tasked with prepping the teams as the youngsters put on a show.
The satellite teams were classified into several groups with MSFC FAP, Mamelodi Satellite, Gezina Satellite and the Ladies Team taking part. Agnes Nkosi, Rhoda Mulaudzi and Andisiwe Mgcoyi coached the Ladies Team.
Mamelodi Sundowns legendary defender Themba Mnguni was in charge of the Under-11 satellite team. Mnguni who played more than 180 times for the Brazilians winning three Premier Soccer League titles, one Nedbank Cup and one Telkom Knockout Cup expressed his satisfaction with the performance of his young titans.
“It was a good initiative for us as a club to organize these internal competitions among our youngsters. Through the round-robin tournament, we were able to monitor the progress of the youngsters in our fold. We identified several young players who showed their mettle throughout the day and there is every indication that they are ready to be integrated into the Academy system. Based on what I saw today, I believe we are on the right track in developing the next generation of Sundowns legends,” Mnguni said.
Mnguni was also full of praise for the youngsters who showed their tactical knowledge of the game all day.
“Throughout the day, I kept preaching the message of quick thinking and rapid reaction to my boys. I was excited about their movements with and without the ball and that is a key trait for professional footballers. I was pleased with the way they reacted in 2v1 opportunities. I was delighted with their ball-winning and ball-retention abilities throughout the day. Their decision-making abilities were also put to the test and the variations were very impressive. Overall, it shows that the various coaches are doing a great job with their respective teams,” Mnguni stated.
The Sundowns legendary defender further praised the inclusion of female players in the round-robin competition, “I was very happy with the presence of the female players because it shows how much we appreciate their talent. The young female players showed their skills and I am optimistic that they are destined for big things. We have a couple of our players who are representing South Africa at the ongoing African Women’s Cup of Nations. I wish them the best and I am happy to be part of the process where it all begins,” Mnguni concluded.
The satellite teams will be hoping to continue their efforts in prepping these youngsters for the Academy structures.
The Sky is truly the Limit for Mamelodi Sundowns!