The Mamelodi Sundowns have led a long and lustrous career having been founded in 1970.
In that time, they’ve garnered quite the number of nicknames: some of which include Bafana baStyle, Downs, Masandawana and The Brazilians (which is a result of their green and yellow uniform which is reminiscent of the colours of the Brazilian flag, and of course, the soccer abilities of the South American country ).
This Pretoria-based club has played in the Premier Soccer League since it began in 1996, and since then, they’ve won the league seven times, holding the record of most wins by any club.
In 2016, they won the CAF Club Of The Year as well as the CAF championship League. Currently, they are the only South African club to have competed in FIFA Club World Cup.
The club was founded near Pretoria’s Central Business District in Marabastad in the early 60s. However, it became an official club in 1970. Some of its founding members include Joey Lawrence, Bernard Hartze and Reginald Hartze.
In 1973, the club became affiliated with the Federation Professional Football League; they also made it to the finals of the Coca-Cola Cup where they lost to Berea United.
Saved From The Brink
In 1978, the Sundown were downgraded to the second division which they spent the next five years battling against through hard work and persistence.
The club was about to be disbanded when management decided to relocate the club to Mamelodi. The sundowns finally received their promotion in 1985.
When Standard bank took possession of the club in 1988, the club was facing liquidation until Natasha and Angelo Tsichlas saved the club by speaking to the bank. Tsichlas then formed a partnership with Abe Krok and bought the club. It was under the leadership that the Sundowns became the best club in South Africa.
The Premier Soccer league took over the National League for the 1996/97 season. The sundown immediately made their mark under the new league and won three consecutive titles in the immediate years that followed, even winning the Rothmans Cup and The Bob Save Super Bowl.
In 2001, The Mamelodi Sundowns reached the final of the CAF champions League but, Egyptian club Al Ahly took the cup that year.
As time progressed the team won more titles than any other club in the country inspiring Patrice Motsepe to buy more than 51% of the club. With the team’s continued success, Motsepe eventually bought the remaining share and took total control of the club as the sole owner.
Under his ownership, the club thrived under the coaching of Neil Tovey and Miguel Gamondi. Eventually, the pair were replaced by Gordon Igesund.
In the 2009/2010 season, despite the club finishing second place, the team parted ways with Hristo Stoichkov who was the coach at the time allowing Antonio Lopez Habas to control the reins. But then, Habas resigned from the position in 2011 because of ‘personal reasons’ and returned home to Spain.
In a nutshell, the team has had a more than a few coaches over the years. Being One of the best clubs in the country, it’s only natural the Sundown attracts some of the best coaches from all over. Here are a few of some of their impressive former coaches:
|Walter Da Silva||Clemens Westerhof|
|Gordon Igesund||Stanley Tshabalala|
|Trott Moloto||Neil Tovey|
|Mario Tuani||Ted Dumitru|
|Henri Michel||Angelo Tsichlas|
|Viktor Bondarenko||Djalma Cavalcante|
|Clemens Westerhot||Paul Dolezar|
|Hristo Stokchkov||Reinhard Fabisch|
Despite a few ups and downs and few changes in coaches – the Mamelodi Sundowns continues to secure wins and are currently, one of the best teams in the league in South Africa.
Ownership and Management
The football club is owned by Patrice Motsepe, a mining Magnate from Soweto. Motsepe is the founder and chairman of the African Rainbow Minerals. He was also listed as South Africa’s richest man in 2012.
While owned by Patrice Motsepe, it is managed by Sizwe Nsimande. The current coach of the Sundowns is Pitso Mosimane who is a former South African football player and one of the highest rated and longest serving coaches in the country:
Other Management Staff include:
|Director of Football||Mike Ntombela|
|1st Assistant Coach||Manqoba Mngqithi|
|2nd Assistant Coach||Rhulani Mokwena|
|Goalkeeper coach||Wendell Robinson|
|Head of youth development||Sam Mbatha|
Some of the players on the team include:
- Kennedy Mweene
- Tebogo Langerman
- Wayne Arendse
- Teko Modise
- Thabo Nthethe
- Sibusiso Vilakzai
- Thembe Zwane
- Ricardo Nascimento
- Siyanda Zwane
- Leonardo Castro
- Denis Onyango
- Mzikayise Mashaba
- Percy Tau