“Take everything to Dobsonville Stadium” – this is Pitso Mosimane’s instruction to the groundsman who takes care of the training pitches at Mamelodi Sundowns’ base, Chloorkop. Sundowns will be spending the remainder of the Absa Premiership season in the Soweto-based arena as they have adopted Dobsonville for their home games.
“Jingles”, who has always been obsessed with the finer details, wants the turf at Dobsonville to be at the standard that will allow his team to play their trademark “shoeshine and piano” brand of football.
Downs will begin their stay at the regular home of Swallows FC by welcoming Orlando Pirates, before meeting with Golden Arrows, Baroka FC and Black Leopards.
“I have sent my people there, the people who look after Chloorkop pitches and all that. I told them that their office is no longer Chloorkop but Dobsonville Stadium and they must be there 9-5pm and make sure that the pitch is ready and is in proper condition.
“We have been given a venue to play at and you can’t be making excuses or passing the buck onto anybody else. You know where you are playing so you must look after the pitch. I asked them if they could take the lawnmowers and the trucks that cut the grass,” said Mosimane.
“But there are challenges, they said ‘coach we cannot leave equipment in the township’ because we are not playing at Joburg Stadium or Ellis Park, the draw said we must go to the township and we are there. There are challenges in townships, we know the story. I grew up in a township. You have to make sure that everything is alright. I do not think the pitch is very bad because we got the images and Bidvest Wits were playing there and we should not complain a lot. But Wits were playing there before COVID-19 and it is a different story after COVID-19, everything changes,” he added, revealing more challenges beyond the actual turf.
“Sometimes you get paranoid and you wonder if the groundsman is tested for COVID-19 because I am going to be talking to that guy and walking with him to the pitch. He might be tested but where does he stay, it is a challenge and that is just football under COVID-19.”
However, Sundowns will be playing at the Orlando Stadium this weekend where they will face Bidvest Wits in the semifinal of the Nedbank Cup.