Pitso Mosimane declares confidence in star protégé: 'I'd put my head on the block for him'

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FOOTBALL Pitso Mosimane declares confidence in star protégé: 'I'd put my head on the block for him'

Festus Chuma 21:00 - 03.01.2024

Legendary South African coach Pitso Mosimane praises former player's talent and work ethic.

South African legendary coach Pitso Mosimane has expressed profound admiration and trust in one of his former players.

Mosimane, a five-time DStv Premiership champion, is revered for his coaching stints at clubs like SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns, Al Ahly, and in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

During a podcast interview on Sports Live with BBK, Mosimane, who has a reputation for nurturing talent and building strong bonds with his players, discussed at length the unique qualities of one of his former charges.

"I can put my head on the block for him," Mosimane declared, showcasing the immense trust and confidence he has in this player’s abilities.

The veteran coach, whose career has spanned continents, described the player as a “student who respects the game," highlighting his dedication and work ethic.

These qualities, according to Mosimane, set this player apart and played a pivotal role in his development into a star at both Sundowns and Al Ahly.

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In a revelation that speaks volumes about his coaching philosophy, Mosimane shared that he had a succession plan at Sundowns, giving another player a senior contract before this star, as a challenge to prove his readiness for the first team.

"Prove to me. I’m happy to be proven wrong [that you’re ready to play in the first team]," Mosimane stated, reflecting his approach to encouraging competition and excellence among his players.

The player’s potential, as seen by Mosimane, was not misplaced. In December 2023, he made history by becoming the first South African to be named CAF Men’s Inter-Club Player of the Year. 

Mosimane also addressed some of the criticism surrounding the player's decision to leave Brighton & Hove Albion for Al Ahly in 2021. He challenged the notion that this move was a downgrade, emphasizing the unique opportunities at top African clubs, such as participating in the FIFA Club World Cup - a stage not accessible to players in certain European leagues.

"Percy (Tau) is not just any other player. I don’t coach Percy; I don’t tell him to work hard," Mosimane said, revealing the player’s name.

He portrayed Tau as a self-motivated and committed footballer, likening him to a diligent student who completes assignments ahead of time and with utmost respect for the game.

As Bafana Bafana gears up for the AFCON beginning on 16 January 2024, all eyes will be on Tau, who, under the mentorship of Mosimane, has risen to become one of South Africa's most promising football talents.