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By Dimakatso Modipa

Young boys from AS Savannah football club with coach Pitso Mosimane photo by Dimakatso Modipa
Young boys from AS Savannah football club with coach Pitso Mosimane photo by Dimakatso Modipa

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane visited his football club in Mamelodi for the first time on Sunday morning.

He expressed satisfaction about the fact that the Rethabile Football grounds in Mamelodi East, which now houses his Pitso Mosimane Football club, has now been refurbished after it had been abandoned for a long time.

“We have to thank local Ward 23 Councilor Diamond Mashao for renovating this ground and making it possible for the children of Mamelodi to play in it,” said Mosimane.

He said his football club has received lots of positive feedback from parents as the grounds were previously riddled with crime and drugs.

He said due to the establishment of the academy parents whose children participate in the activities of the academy now know where their kids are and doing.

“As much as we try to develop football, we also reduce crime through this academy,” he said.

Mosimane appreciated the commitment and passion shown by the young lads who took part in the exhibition matches on Sunday, emphasising that football builds their character and is a good lifestyle and good for their health.

“We would like to bring more investment into the Mamelodi academy as it has the potential to produce big achievements,” said Mosimane.

“We have Pitso Mosimane Soccer Schools programne whereby we put various qualified coaches at several schools to help the schools with physical education and the training of each school’s soccer teams and we also help Curro Foundation schools in this regard,” he said.

“But we have since realised that lots of these soccer-loving learners play football at school but don’t have teams that they play for on weekends,” he explained.

“Concerned parents are the ones who asked us to start the Pitso Mosimane Football team so that their children would have somewhere to play in weekends and we are urging all other parents as well to bring their children to the team so they can play irrespective of the school they come from,” said Mosimane.

“Our coaches at various schools and at the team are not our friends but are coaches that have been trained and have CAF and SAFA D licence coaching qualifications,” he said.

“We give the coaches induction on how to differentiate between training players of different age groups,” explained Mosimane.

He said his football academy now has four teams in Gauteng: one in Mamelodi, one in Boksburg, one in Roodepoort and the other in Midrand.

He emphasised that his academy needs support so as to establish similar academies countrywide.

He revealed that his school’s football academies have been in existence for only a month now and that what is happening with the teams beautiful and unbelievable.

AS Savannah FC played against Pitso Mosimane FC in Mamelodi East sports ground photo by Dimakatso Modipa
AS Savannah FC played against Pitso Mosimane FC in Mamelodi East sports ground photo by Dimakatso Modipa

He said the present school’s academy projects were pilot programmes which would help him and his colleagues to identify what the need is for these academies in various townships.

“At the moment we have thirty coaches in the academy programne and all of them have to be paid as they are not volunteering, which means the kids taking part in the activities of the academy have to pay fees for the training that they receive,” he explained.

“When coaches get paid then they can be held accountable like at any workplace and be expected to do their jobs diligently,” said Mosimane.

He announced that during these winter school holidays parents are urged to send their children to his soccer training camps where they will be imparted with football skills and life skills like discipline, good behaviour and correct diet as aspirant footballers.

Coach Pitso played for Mamelodi Sundowns from 1985 to 1987 before joining Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns had acquired his services from Jomo Cosmos FC.

Ward 23 Councilor Diamond Mashao told Tshwane Talks that the Rethabile Football grounds had been abandoned and that he was now grateful that Pitso Mosimane has resuscitated the facility which had all along turned into a crime zone and one nyaope addict had recently died there.

Coach of Pitso Mosimane Football Club Maisha Raphela admitted that Savannah FC, which played against his team in various age divisions on Sunday, gave his lads a hard time and won some of the matches because the team (AS Savannah) has been together for a long time now while his team has only been assembled for a couple of months.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns player and AS Savannah coach FC team coach Kgomotso Makau said he only assembled his under 9 team only this week and was happy about the performance if the young men.

He said he grew up playing football and was also coached by Pitso Mosimane and would also like to see young boys being developed and getting off the streets.

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