Inasmuch as Pitso Mosimane would love to hold on to players such as Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana, Denis Onyango and Tebogo Langerman forever, he knows he will eventually have to do without them as age is slowly working against them.
“Jingles” says he has a succession plan which is why he has been recruiting players who are relatively aged below 26, with the exception of 31-year-old George Malukeka.
“We are currently preparing the team for the future because of the age of the important players in the team. The likes of Kekana, Denis, Ricardo Nascimento, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Tebogo Langerman. We have got a lot of players who are over 30 years old.
“There is nobody who is over 30 years and their speed is improving, you are just declining and you cannot say you are as quick as you were when you were 19 or 20. That is the challenge that we have at Sundowns,” said Mosimane.
“These guys have won so many trophies with me and they are important for the team but what are you going to do, you can’t work against time. We are trying to tap into our resources in the Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC) by bringing up the players and we have done that before. We had Percy Tau, Motjeka Madisha, Keletso Makgalwa and now we have got the two youngsters, Promise Mkhuma and Malebogo Modise,” he added.
Mosimane drew on the success stories of Percy Tau, who this week joined Belgian side Anderlecht on a loan deal from English side Brighton Hove & Albion, and Motjeka Madisha who has been a regular feature in Downs’ rear guard in the last four seasons.
“It is important to give confidence to the youth to tell them that you can play in the senior team from the MDC. Sphelele Mkhulise was in the starting line-up in a cup final. They jell with time, took over from Thabo Nthethe, Percy took over when Leonardo Castro left, he sustained it after Khama Billiat left, so we are looking after the future of the club,” said Mosimane.