Downs changes lives – Mosi­mane

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Pitso Mosi­mane says Mamelodi Sun­downs change play­ers’ lives for the bet­ter. But the Brazil­ians’ coach has ad­vised his vic­to­ri­ous charges to spend their money wisely and re­spon­si­bly.

Mosi­mane re­vealed that the play­ers were go­ing to share the R10 mil­lion loot, af­ter clinch­ing the Absa Premier­ship ti­tle.

Sun­downs have al­ready claimed back-to-back Q-In­no­va­tion prizes – R3 mil­lion in to­tal – along with R4.25 mil­lion for win­ning the Telkom Knock­out.

They are also lead­ing the Q4-In­no­va­tion stand­ings. If they bag an­other R1.5 mil­lion, they will have shared a whop­ping R18.75 mil­lion this sea­son alone.

“It is not a se­cret that we are go­ing to share the money. The pres­i­dent [Pa­trice Mot­sepe] al­ways gives it to us when we win tro­phies – but not for fin­ish­ing sec­ond. This is an im­por­tant in­cen­tive for the play­ers to come to Sun­downs,” said Mosi­mane.

For the coach, the most im­por­tant thing is how play­ers spend their money.

“As much as there are pos­i­tives when com­ing to Sun­downs, there are also neg­a­tives, and play­ers need to be aware of this. For me, it is about the trans­for­ma­tion of our boys from where they were be­fore join­ing the club to where they are now.

“We change lives at Downs be­cause play­ers have a chance to im­prove them­selves. You can­not be in the same space as be­fore; you need to move for­ward. Your life changes when you come to Sun­downs be­cause we look af­ter our play­ers.

“I am happy for a player such as [Asavela] Mbek­ile, to see where he is now. He had played for the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion be­fore join­ing Moroka Swal­lows [his for­mer club, from which he re­signed in mid-2014 to join Downs]. He has won tro­phies with us, drives a nice car and bought his first house. This is what we want as the club. Th­ese are the ben­e­fits of play­ing at the high­est level. And when [Bon­gani] Zungu came here, he had no car. To­day he drives a beau­ti­ful one and has signed a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand deal.

“Th­ese are some pos­i­tives that peo­ple do not see in us. They only say neg­a­tive things, such as we are out to de­stroy ca­reers when play­ers sit on the bench.”

But Mosi­mane said, on the flip side, play­ers needed to work for their money.

“So many play­ers get op­por­tu­ni­ties at Sun­downs, and end up earn­ing too much and chang­ing their life­styles.

“But if you do not look af­ter your­self, you do not make the team and then you lose ev­ery­thing. You have your high life­style to main­tain, and what hap­pens when you take a pay cut?”

His ad­vice to play­ers? “They know what they need to do to stay at the club and keep en­joy­ing the ben­e­fits: play con­sis­tently, and you will stay.”

He said the club al­ways en­listed the ser­vices of ad­vis­ers to help play­ers on fi­nan­cial mat­ters. “With the kind of salaries they earn, they are en­ti­tled to per­sonal bankers. We also bring in fi­nan­cial ad­vis­ers to tell them how to look af­ter their money, and build their le­ga­cies around prop­er­ties and trusts.”

How­ever, he said they al­ways hit a brick wall with some play­ers, who did not want to be told what to do with their money. “They say: ‘Don’t tell me any­thing about my money. I earn it.’ Re­mem­ber, most of them are from hum­ble back­grounds. We can only go so far – we have no con­trol on how they should spend it. We are still strug­gling with that be­cause some play­ers con­sider them­selves as so­cialites and want to be ac­cepted, feel rel­e­vant and play the part.”

Mosi­mane did not re­call get­ting a bonus af­ter win­ning the ti­tle with Jomo Cos­mos in 1987.

“Th­ese play­ers are lucky and have a chance to change their lives for the bet­ter. In my day, it was not like this. We came from hum­ble back­grounds. It was a step­ping stone. I can­not com­plain about my life in foot­ball to­day as I can take my kids to school.”

PHO­TOS: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / GAVIN BARKER / BACKPAGEPIX

EC­STATIC Downs fans cel­e­brate the team’s win

CHAM­PI­ONS Sun­downs play­ers in good spir­its af­ter clinch­ing the Absa Premier­ship ti­tle on Wed­nes­day

ON TOP Khama Billiat helped the Brazil­ians to vic­tory

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