New era starts for Sundowns on Sunday

Mamelodi Sundowns’ treble-winning season will likely feel like a distant memory when they kick-off the 2020-21 campaign at home to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday at the dawn of a new era.

It has been just five weeks since they defeated Celtic 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup final to complete a hat-trick of trophy wins last season, also including the league title and the Telkom Knockout.

But so much has changed since then, not least the departure of coach Pitso Mosimane to Egyptian giants Al Ahly, and some 14 new signings that have refreshed the squad.

It is now up to co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena to plot the way forward, along with newly-acquired ‘senior coach’ Steve Komphela.

One of the stalwarts of the side, Brazilian defender Ricardo Nascimento, says the perfect wat to begin their new era is to claim a trophy they have not lifted since 2007 in the MTN8.

“When you know that the game is a cup game, then you expect a difficult match,” he told the club’s website. “We are looking forward to an exciting game and want to do well in this cup, we want to win it for the club and also for the fans.

“We have prepared well and we are expecting a challenging season, as the clubs are getting strong teams. The clubs are bringing new and good players to close the gap.”

The Brazilians’ new signings are headlined by the likes of Kermit Erasmus (Cape Town City), Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United), George Maluleka (Kaizer Chiefs), Mothobi Mvala, Peter Shalulile (both Highlands Park) and Grant Margeman (Ajax Cape Town).