Sundowns’ ethos is to think and then win

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The ‘reception’ area of that building has a monthly calendar on the wall. On that calendar, important dates are marked. Those important dates include the matches Sundowns will be involved in that month, along with games of their opponents leading up to their encounter with the Brazilians - with a video analyst and scout assigned to go watch and report back.

Coach Pitso Mosimane gets reports from them on his opponent’s last three games while he and his technical team also write their own reports to share with players, who must also do their own analysis. That calendar also has dates of international matches, which scouts are assigned to either attend or watch on TV, looking for talent. On another wall reads a quote from Dutch legend Dennis Bergkamp: “Behind every kick of the ball there has to be a thought.”

A lot of thought went into every kick of the ball from Sundowns, which helped them win a record seventh league title in the PSL-era when they beat University of Pretoria 3-0 on Wednesday at Tuks Stadium. The club’s players have been transformed from robots who are given orders, to thinkers whose understanding of the game has only grown. The biggest catalyst in their march to winning the league, was the reaction of the fans after the 3-2 win to Ajax Cape Town at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Then a section of the supporters chanted that Mosimane must be fired.

“We really needed that win,” Sundowns midfielder Khama Billiat said. “It came at the right time because from there, the pressure went down and we started enjoying playing football. We played with a smile. That’s the one game that I look back and say that things started working for us from there.”

After that match, Sundowns went on an 18-match unbeaten run in all competitions, where they not only cemented a place at the summit of the Absa Premiership but also won the Telkom KO. That game made players fight for the coach and the club, with attack-minded players like Billiat improving in their defensive discipline. Balancing attack and defence required that fitness levels be high, especially from a team that look to suffocate their opponents before they even settle. Fitness trainer Kabelo ‘KB’ Rangoaga was a valuable assert in that regard.

“Kabelo is a top trainer in the country,” Mosimane said. “Travelling, we didn’t have any cramps or hamstring. Manqoba (Mngqithi) helped me a lot. He has experience. The young Rhulani (Mokoena) is also one of the best coaches around. I think that Rhulani will win many more titles, more than me. I think that he is better than me ... he will be far.” - The Star

Original source: Sundowns’ ethos is to think and then win

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