This is CAFCL Gazette Fan Zone. This is your space. You can talk about your favourite team. You can rant about the team that you hate. You can talk anything you like about the CAF Champions League. This week, Mamelodi Sundowns Sharpeville Branch Fans had something to say.
Tell us more about your favourite team?
Sundowns was never a club that took African competitions seriously. Only until, the current President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe took over did the CAFCL become a barometer for success. This has transformed Sundowns from being one of the great clubs of South African football to being the greatest club in South Africa.
The appointment of Pitso Mosimane, in 2012, was a turning point in transforming Sundowns into an African heavyweight. The rise of Mamelodi Sundowns and consistency of TP Mazembe prove that North African clubs can be challenged. Thrashing Al Ahly last season was confirmation of our stature and the repeat match up will show that it was not by luck that we beat Al Ahly.
What is your best memory of Sundowns in the CAF Champions League?
Lifting the CAFCL by beating Zamalek three times in the same campaign.
After Vita Club disqualification, we proved that we were undoubtedly the best side in the competition plus by fair play.
Who is your favourite Sundowns player?
It has to be the incumbent club captain, Hlompho Kekana. He may not be the glamorous player that many football fans like to watch; however, Hlompho is an illustration of the ultimate football professional. He is a soft spoken man off the field. But once he crosses that white paint, Kekana transforms into the leader that you want for your club.
He is a man that leads by example. His performances are consistent and exemplary. Kekana plays the most matches for the club every season. He recently celebrated his 300th appearance for the club against USM Alger and to top it off he scored on that milestone.
Is there a player at you wish Pitso Mosimane would give more playing time to?
There are more than one player. The sentiment is that the younger players that have recently been promoted should be given an opportunity. The likes of Keletso Makgalwa, Sphelele Mkhulise and most recently Promise Mkhuma.
It is understandable, though, that Pitso is gradually phasing them in.
The last player that should be given more of a chance is Phakamani Mahalmbi once he can maintain his fitness. He is an explosive striker that can really give defenders a torrid time. He can rival the likes of Jackson Muleka as one of the top CAFCL strikers.
Which 3 PSL players would you want at Sundowns for your CAFCL campaign?
Eric Mathoho: not only is he solid, wins one-on-ones and aerial battles; he is also a goal scoring defender. He also has good leadership qualities on the field.
Aubrey Modiba: we have had Langerman for over a decade and struggled to find someone to replace him at leftback. Modiba is that one player that fits. He adds more to it with attacking prowess. He is a better attacker than Langerman and can take set pieces.
Justin Shonga: his transition play is strong and is one striker who is not scared of taking on defenders. He would bring another dimension to Sundowns attacking play. We could play Mauricio Affonso as target man, Sibusiso Vilakazi as false-9 and direct football with Justin Shonga.
What is your opinion on Kaizer Chiefs excuse that they do not care about CAFCL?
Being a big fish in a small pond doesn’t translate to being a shark in the ocean.
Sundowns winning CAFCL was proof that being a big club is commanding respect from clubs in other territories when conquer them. The ultimate sign of stature is when the most successful football region on the African continent fears and respects you.
Finally, which North African team do you fear the most?
Esperance Tunis. This is the only team to have beaten Sundowns in Pretoria. They have always had a formidable team. With Moine Chaabani having been a former player and gone through the ranks to become coach, he has instilled the Esperance ethos. He is an intelligent coach that is much like our Pitso Mosimane thus making Esperance Tunis a formidable team.
Special mention to Wydad Casablanca. This team is the one that has prevented Sundowns from winning 3 CAFCLs in last 4 years. However, we have worked them out and we will progress should we meet them in the semis.
Check out Mamelodi Sundowns Sharpeville Branch on Twitter: @MS_Sharpeville