South Africa

News from South Africa Mamelodi Sundowns: Coach Rulani & Marcelo Allende Speak At Press Conference

After a full week without a midweek game, Mamelodi Sundowns are gearing up for the final DStv Premiership match before the international break as they take on AmaZulu FC at Loftus on Sunday.

After an up and down start to the season, Masandawana head into the tie on top of the league table and come up against an Usuthu side struggling for form and languishing in the relegation. The Brazilians will be looking for a third win in a row following victories against Chippa United & Golden Arrows. 

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s game, Coach Rulani was adamant that the team are in for a tough test on Sunday: 

“Preparations are going well, we’re making sure we’re in a space where we can prepare for a very difficult side – AmaZulu are a very good team with very good players. As you can see from the work that went on in the transfer window. They are a very good technical team.”

“They are a very good side and it’s going to be a difficult game for us but we are happy, the more difficult for us the better. They are the team that are averaging the highest number of shots from outside of the box and they are very aggressive in transition. They play for set pieces to try and create opportunities so intelligent defending becomes very important for us.”

Following a flurry of opening season action, Bafana Ba Style were afforded some respite as the football calendar saw them have no midweek game, allowing for more preparation ahead of the match. Coach Rulani welcomed the break and explained how it would benefit his team:

“It’s always good to have a neutral week, it gives us time to work on a few things and also to integrate the new players especially because they haven’t had the time to work with us so they can adjust to the culture.”

Coach Rulani also expressed his delight upon hearing the news that midfielder Themba Zwane had been called up to the Bafana Bafana side for the upcoming international break, after an extensive period outside of the national team setup:

“Its great news, I’m excited as I’ve been advocating for this. I’d like to commend Hugo Broos, when you have that type of player and that type of quality to help you bring him to the national team. It’s well deserved, football should always be about meritocracy.”

New signing Marcelo Allende spoke at the press conference as well and outlined his ambitions with the team after facing questions from the media:

“Sundowns is one of the best teams in Africa, and I want to win trophies, this is my main reason for coming here. The quality of the players and coaching in our team is very good and I’m very happy.”

“The quality of the league is very interesting as each and every team has their own style of play and they make it interesting for every team that they play against.”

Mamelodi Sundowns take on AmaZulu FC this Sunday at Loftus Versfeld on a day that will see club legend Hlompho Kekana honoured with a special half time ceremony. Action will get underway from 15H00 and the match will be televised on SuperSport channel 202.