We want to always be able to produce every year players that can really come in and help the team in achieving its endeavors – Coach Manqoba Mngqithi

Mamelodi Sundowns hit top gear as they smashed eight past La Passe FC in the CAF Champions League second preliminary round. Downs opened the scoring after seven minutes with Cassius Mailula bagging a brace before half time, The Brazilians Co-Coach Manqoba Mngqithi stressed the importance of promoting young players to the first team amid recent Stella performances from the academy graduates:

“Our academy is our flagship, we want to always be able to produce every year players that can really come in and help the team in achieving it’s endeavors and more than anything else to make sure that our development and the money spent on our academy is not wasted but it’s always having very good returns on investment. When you see how [Sphelele] Mkhulise is coming up, I am very happy now in terms of his offensive play because we always had our fights with him but now we see that he has realized that this is a make or break in terms of making sure that he forces himself into the team, because it’s important when you’re always pitching with a goal or pitching with an assist. And to see a young boy that we’ve just promoted now [Mailula] playing the way that he’s playing now, it’s also encouraging.”

“Offensively [Mailula] probably achieved all our metrics, he was always in the right positions at the right time, scoring goals for a young boy like that in the Champions League. It’s something big, but I still have a lot of question marks with his behavior upon losing ball possession, I think that’s an area that he must improve on which is why I’m saying our high press was not very good and not only because of him, it’s a collective. But you would expect that your leading striker should spearhead your high press or counter pressing.”

“But these are areas that can easily improve because we know what he’s capable of, he’s one of the best finishers in the country. We’ve always known that, but he must improve the intensity of his performances more especially upon losing possession [and] not necessarily when he loses possession but when the team loses possession. In most cases against teams that sit back when you lose possession it’s actually the biggest moment for you to score a goal because if you can capitalize on those moments after losing possession, they are already thinking offensive, they are already thinking of going out of their defensive positions and if you cut and look for verticality and create moments. I think it’s an area of his game that must still improve but we are patient.” 

“The training regime in the first team it’s not the same as the training regime in the junior team, naturally the intensity of a young boy can not be at our level but we are very impressed with what he is offering which is why he’s been a regular in the team, he’s doing well even at training and if there’s one boy that I know he’s got a goal in him it’s that boy.”

Moroccan international Abdelmounaim Boutouil came off the bench for his competitive debut against the struggling Seychellois on Friday night. Boutouil is regarded as one of the best defenders in Africa and was announced as the last big signing of the 2022/23 season for the Champion side, Coach Manqoba was impressed with his first outing for the club.

“Technically he’s unbelievable, he makes less mistakes, he’s got a full range of passing, short, medium or long. [He makes] passes that break lines and passes that are targeting in the opposite 8, passes that are tagging the opposite wing back or full backs and he can find the striker very easily. Technically you can not falter anything from him and he’s also very good on set pieces.”

“Aerially he’s a very dominant figure in that space, but his physical condition is not at the right level to make a lot of judgment but we brought him because in almost all of the metrics he’s very close if not better than what you would get from a Ricardo Nascimento.”

7 Responses
  1. Thulas

    As you say coach, be patient and not promote for the sake of it. I am happy with how you integrate the young ones

  2. Mfana

    Its not enough when it comes to promoting &believing to youngsters and I believe that the acquisition of Mailula will give us more hope that u &Rulani will try to promote more,considering Luvuyo Phewa is not even making the list on the bench.Cassius just needs to be given more game time and he won’t disappoint.But again if you continue buying a 34 year old like Ralani,which means you r making a very slim chance to integrate youngsters into the philosophy of the senior team.But thanks for finding Mailula.We keep on thinking that there won’t be another Marcelo Allende that will be brought from South America,and put yourselves under unhealthy pressure.

  3. Dalom

    Can someone advice if we’ve sold this boy Siphesihle Mkhize, who’s now playing for Chippa United? I’ve been following the boy since his days in our Diski team, and the boy is really good in that position he plays. He just won a man-of-match today against Zebras, but he’s been good in all the games I’ve watched Chippa play

  4. Makhosonke

    I’m asking my self is our managers Manqoba, Rulani and Steve still interested in like of Kapinga or what because they really don’t give that guy a chance

  5. Jero

    Guys let us be patient with our Coaches .l think they have smell the coffee. We are going to see few youngsters to the first team. Are you Guys aware that promise and Cassius they were playing together in the MDC team and P Mkhume was ahead of Cassius the way he was performing. The future is yellow and bright it took Pitso some years to introduce youngsters too.
    I think Mkhize still belong to Sundowns that’s why he went to Chippa late this season .l see him replacing Jali that boy is calm and hardyly never panicked and loose the ball.l think he must shoot more on goals like last season he was getting in good shooting positions.


    Motupa showed his quality,i still remember his partnership with Peter,the away champions league against Al Ahly.But once we bought Safronko i told my friends that this is the end of Motupa and he said they will be crazy not to play him,and i told him those coaches don’t know what they want.To be brutally honest Motupa is better than Shaulile when it comes to skill,passing shooting and ball control,but they completed each other well,it just that our coaches have their favorite players,as to why Kutumela,Ralani are playing ahead of him it rises lot of questions than answers.Honesly Mkhize is better than AJ with passing,protection of the ball,aerially and defending,there was no need to sign an unfit Zungu and loan Mkhize,if you are willing to tolerate an over weight and unfit Zungu why can’t you give young and fit Mkhize,we were once told he is like Bosquet,how do you loan Bosquet? Our coaches like to play age and previous history than creating their own history.

  7. Mzimela

    Coward coache just praised players not opportunities to Mkhize as Bosquet Mkhulise as Lionel Mess cheap to talk where are Promise.Mdluli .Makgalwa practice what u preach