Mamelodi Sundowns are in the final stages of preparations for a mouthwatering clash against Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium.
The Brazilians have wrapped up their Premiership title defense with three remaining league fixtures against Amakhosi, Stellenbosch FC and Royal AM left to play before the 2021/22 season reaches its conclusion, however the reigning Champions are adamant to continue with collecting points from their remaining games. Masandawana’s left footer Aubrey Modiba reflected on the industrious journey that lead to their DStv Premiership success:
“First of all, what I’ve realized is that winning the league is not easy. We had to fight and make sure that we do well or that we outrun our opponents or outsmart them and that has been working very well for us. Every team that we play against we make sure that we do the basics right and we do what is required and [use] our strength so that we can be able to win the game. I don’t think it’s a one team league, our work has been very good, we’ve been doing well and it hasn’t been easy, every game was tough.”
Modiba, has so far made 19 league match appearances in the current season and hit a home run with his stellar performances that has awarded him with back-to-back man of the match accolades. The 26-year-old Limpopo born star acknowledged Masandawana’s contribution to his growth and success at his new home. “Ever since I got to Sundowns a lot of things have changed in terms of how we normally prepare for our games, how the players are managed, because in some teams when players are not being played and others are doing well they would not really check with how the player is coping with that. In terms of watching videos of yourself, how you can improve and how you can add value to the team.”
“Here they focus on small details, things that can change the game quickly and I think I managed to improve in terms of how to position my body irrespective of the position which I am playing and I think that has been something that has been different ever since I got here. Everyone is family here, we are very united and we help one another. On and off the field we fight for one another and even when things aren’t going well in that specific game we remain there for one another.”
“I must give credit to the coaches and the players that we have in the team because I had a long chat with all the coaches about my performance at training as well as in the games, and they managed to show me where to improve and what I need to do in order to help the team. The guys that have been playing have been doing well and I just had to wait for my chance and make sure that I grab it. I think that is what has played a big role in me scoring goals now but it’s not about me, it’s about the team, as long as the team is winning and moving forward.”
“Postman”, as he is affectionately known amongst his peers, experienced playing in front of the Yellow Nation since putting pen to paper with Sundowns in 2020. Maphosa described the affair: “For me it’s been good because ever since I signed to Sundowns I never got to experience that until now when the supporters came back to the stadiums and there has been a great atmosphere at the stadium.”
“I think they’ve been coming out in numbers, especially in the Champions League games and some of our league games they’ve been pushing us and we could feel the goosebumps when we were playing against Cape Town City in the last few minutes in the way they were singing and cheering us on. Hopefully they can still come in numbers and support us during these last few games. For me personally it has been great because I’ve never got to experience that ever since I got to Sundowns.”
The Brazilians’ Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi resonated with Modiba’s admiration for the Yellow Nation and is hopeful that the support will continue until the season comes to an end.
“The Yellow Nation has really been good to us, they’ve been coming in numbers to support us from the Champions League matches that we’ve played. We’ve had a very decent crowd and probably the match where we did not have as much but it looked very good it was the game against Sekhukhune and in that game I can’t fault a lot of people because for a game that starts at 5 O’clock midweek, it’s not easy for supporters from Pretoria to drive all the way to be able to be at the stadium at 5 O’clock.”
“Big ups to our supporters, we are well supported. Our supporters come in numbers and I can tell you now, even at FNB on Sunday they will be coming in numbers and I would really love a situation where we would be even more than the Chiefs supporters at FNB.”
Mamelodi Sundowns lock horns with Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday, 8 May in the DStv Premiership at the FNB Stadium. Kick off is at 17h30, live on SuperSport.