Sundowns will be crowned PSL champions next Saturday




African News Agency


MAMELODI Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena (picture) says the team gave it their best this season, hence they are on course to win a domestic treble. After announcing their tenure by winning the league title – fourth in a row and 11th overall – coaching trio Mokwena, Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela are on course to make a clean sweep as far as the local trophies are concerned. Earlier this season, they bagged the elusive MTN8, while they wrapped the championship with four games to spare last month. The Brazilians are also in the Nedbank Cup final where they’ll face defending champions Marumo Gallants on May 28. Last month, Sundowns were nigh to winning an unprecedented quadruple but that didn’t come to fruition as they crashed out of the CAF Champions League quarter-final for a second year running. Given that the Brazilians have dominated the local front for the past five seasons, many detractors argue that they’ve failed by not returning to the pinnacle of African football this year since winning the crown in 2016 under coach Pitso Mosimane. But having tightened their grip on domestic football this season by being close to adding trophies to the championship, Mokwena believes that they’ve done tremendously well as a team. “I think we’ve had a very good season. We’ve had a season where we’ve evolved quite a bit. In fact, in the naked eye it’s not so evident,” Mokwena said. “But if you watch our team from the beginning and see how we’ve developed, not in terms of managing games and being able to pull results, but in a tactical sense where there’s a lot of flexibility in our team.” He added: “The evolution that we’ve done is fantastic. “The work that we’ve done, and maybe the people only at Mamelodi Sundowns know how difficult it was to do what we’ve done, shows how much hard work, investment and sacrifice that these players have done.” Before the Nedbank Cup final against Gallants at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, which could lead to a second treble in three seasons, Sundowns will play their last two league matches. They host Stellenbosch at the Tuks Stadium tomorrow in the penultimate league match, and they’ll be crowned champions at the Chatsworth Stadium next Saturday against runners-up hopefuls Royal AM. “We can only be happy with what we’ve achieved and what the squad has done,” said Mokwena. “The support that we’ve received from various departments can only give you a sense of feeling because with only a few games to go before the end of the season we are speaking about a treble. “How many times has that been done in domestic football? Because it hasn’t been done a lot, that reflects the work that has been done by the club and squad. “We can only look back with pure admiration, respect and a deep sense of appreciation for everybody’s commitment and contribution towards the success that we’ve had on the pitch this season.”