Mamelodi Sundowns’ Caf Champions League campaign started on the good note with coach Pitso Mosimane receiving an invitation from Caf’s President Ahmad Ahmad to take part in the Pro License course that will be held in Rabat.
The Pro License is the highest qualification of football coaches and is part of the progressive logic for those who have already passed the Caf C, B and A licenses. The course will run from March 12-14 in Morocco with eight modules and will be held during Fifa dates.
But before Mosimane goes to Morocco, there is the not so small matter of returning from Rwanda with a win over Rayon Sports in the first leg of Sundowns’ Caf Champions League first round tie. The return leg will be played at Lucas Moripe Stadium on March 18. The winner will qualify for the group stage. The Brazilians flew to Kigali immediately after their 3-1 win over AmaZulu that saw them keep their place at the summit. In between those two legs Sundowns will host EC Bees in the Nedbank Cup in a hectic schedule.
“It’s been difficult juggling our domestic and continental commitments,” Mosimane said. “I have taken some risks with how we manage our squad. I have been resting Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Hlompho Kekana because they are Bafana Bafana players.”
“They have played a lot of football and they have travelled a lot. We also rested Jeremy Brockie who played in the Caf Confederation Cup. You saw how Vilakazi lifted us when he came on against SuperSport United after being rested.”
“Zwane and Kekana are fresh. We rested Tiyani Mabunda against SuperSport United. It’s risky but we have to juggle the team to make sure that in the final last five games we have legs and fresh legs. Bafana players know how to play in the continent. Vilakazi, Zwane, Kekana and Mabunda are the big guns who have played in the continent and most of them were there when we won the Champions League. This is the time to bring them on now because we sacrificed them in the league to ensure that they are fresh. It’s risky but we can afford them.”
Mosimane and his technical team know what’s in store against their Rwandan opponents.
“We had people who went to watch their matches. I know that six of their players were in Chan (African Nations Championship),” Mosimane said. “We will check them individually, their strength and weaknesses.”