Mamelodi Sundowns play their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs for the third straight match at the start of the season and while the Brazilians have kept the same profile, the Glamor Boys seem to have evolved.
That’s the opinion of second Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena, who has been on the bench and seen Amakhosi go through various stages under coaches Gavin Hunt, Stuart Baxter and now Arthur Zwane.
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Mokwena suggests that Zwane, who spent ten years as a Chiefs player before moving into coaching and working in the club’s youth structures, may well be the best candidate for the job given his knowledge of Naturena’s DNA.
“There’s a huge metamorphosis – it’s not even a change, it’s like the team has gone in a different direction, particularly from the vision that you see the club has set,” Mokwena said in the build-up to this weekend’s meeting at Loftus Stadium. Versfeld.
“And if you watch them now, the strategy in the transfer market is also to get more young players like boNyaope. [Mahlatsi]Solomons and promote and empower Bruce Bvuma, Mduduzi [Shabalala].
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“That’s the direction they took [now] and a direction they haven’t taken in a very long time. If you look at the last three coaches [they’ve had]there would be a lot of reliance on players like Rama [Mphahlele], [Bernard] Parker and [Erick] Matoho.
“But the cycle seems to change depending on how the vision has been set at the top and so it affects a lot more things like the choice of coach, which Arthur is and he knows the DNA of the club he’s for played them, worked in the academy and served as an assistant to many of the [previous] coaches.
“It also affects their recruitment policy because you have seen the market, even if there are certain big players, they go to Yusuf Mart and [Ashley] Du Preez, who is relatively much younger than what would have been available to bosses in a normal context a couple of years ago.’
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