From the dusty streets of Kagiso and later Soweto where he grew up, came the unquestionable talent that is Pitso John Hamilton Mosimane. Playing soccer at all the schools he attended and for his neighborhood club Rockville Hungry Lions, he was soon recruited by the legendary Jomo Sono for Jomo Cosmos FC at the tender age of age 18.
He played for Jomo Cosmos FC for two years before moving to Mamelodi Sundowns FC, to help them win their first trophy double – namely first league title as well as the Mainstay Cup. His return to Cosmos was also marked by the club’s first league title, where he contributed by scoring 11 goals in 14 during that campaign. In 1989 Pitso Mosimane was signed by Orlando Pirates FC where he had a short stint before a mid-season move to Greek team, Ionikos FC where he played for six years. He then signed for Rita Berlaar in Belgium and later then joined Qatari Al Saad FC in Doha.
Not only has he had a decorated playing career, but Pitso Mosimane also has his name written in a distinguished list of player who scored a goal on debut for Bafana Bafana. This was against Mauritius in the African Cup of Nations Qualifiers in 1993.
Pitso Mosimane started his coaching career in the big leagues in July 2001 with SuperSport United FC. In his time there, he won the SAA Supa 8 and Nedbank Cup and also managed to finish in second place twice on the PSL (7 top 8 finishes in as many years). Add to that the Coach of the Year award in the 2004/2005 season. He was responsible for Matsatsantsa’s five cup finals in successions run. In fact his Midas touch persisted when it saw his return to club football punctuated by his league title conquest for Mamelodi Sundowns FC in 2013/2014.
Pitso Mosimane also led the South African Under-23 Olympic team in the 2 Nations tournament in France before becoming Bafana Bafana assistant coach to Ted Dumitru at the African Nations Cup in Egypt. He served as a caretaker coach of South Africa for seven games during 2007, before Carlos Alberto Parreira was appointed head coach. He then served as an assistant coach to Carlos Alberto Parreira and Joel Santana with South Africa. And then set another record when he became the first person to have played and then coached the South African Senior National Football Team (Bafana Bafana).
From all the above, you can tell I am fan. And I am not a fan because I am old enough to have seen play. Dude! My guy! Daai groot-man could TURN!
Nevermind, the fact that he came from an era, when attacking players had to have everything. You had to have skill eliminate people in 1-1 situations – the off-side rule was different in those days. You had to have power to shoot from range. You had to have pace, be agile to avoid tackles because wingers in those days were proper wingers, while right and left back were ruthless. They didn’t guide people to a tight angle. They took everything out including the ball. But for me Pitso Mosimane had it all. If you have ever seen him attack the far post, you will know what I am on about. If you have ever seen him on the D-line, with his back to goal. Through-ball! Body-wave! – Ahhhhhhhhh! Words fail me.
Daai groot-man could TURN, bafowethu!
But that is not the reason why I am such a fan. I am fan because; Pitso John Hamilton Mosimane is probably the best PR tactician on the bench since the inception of the PSL. People say he is arrogant. I don’t know the man personally. So I can’t comment on that. What I do know is this. Every time he walks into a press conference, Pitso Mosimane has us exactly where he wants us.
You see in South Africa most coaches find themselves needing to defend all the time. You could be 10 points in the lead, but you still find yourself needing to defend your team selection. You could be going for ten matches without a loss; playing five cup finals in succession, you will still find yourself justifying one formation over another. Not Mr Mosimane. Mamelodi Sundowns FC lost 5-0 last week; any other coach would have been slated to hell and back. Instead, Pitso Mosimane had the whole country waiting for his post match interview.
How often do you hear people complaining about his team selection? Never! How often do you hear people scrutinizing the performance of Mamelodi Sundowns players? Hardly! Pitso Mosimane speaks to draw the attention towards himself and away from the players, his tactics, and his team.
Call it attention seeking, arrogance, or a Mourinho-istic approach – call it what you want, but it works. It works because it gets the pressure of the players. Think about it. Many have tried. Many have failed. But under Pitso Mosimane, Teko Modise is back to his best. You know why? There is no pressure on him. NO focus, no scrutiny. While we are too pre-occupied by the last Pitso Mosimane sound-bite on 083Sport with Marawa; Teko Modise is playing his best football week in week out. Because all he has to think about is football. Not what we have to say.
The players know what I am talking about. From a distance you and I may believe that he is a difficult man to work with. Think about it, how many players is he working with today, are players who he has worked with before. Granted with the number of players at Mamelodi Sundowns FC it is very difficult to be happy as a player. But still his former players are happy to play for him again. When Manqoba Mngqithi joined Mamelodi Sundowns FC, many scribes ran with the angle – “can the two work together?” What happened? They won the league.
For me Pitso Mosimane is a class act, not only on the field of play but in the PR space as well. Call it a trick and perhaps it isn’t, THIS IS FOOTBALL. Let’s be HONEST, Pitso Mosimance is UNbelievable!
The tempest prognosticator
Themba A Dikgale
PS: I am about as far from being a Sundowns fan as Pitso Mosimane is to diplomacy. So don’t get it twisted. I am just a Fan. That’s all!