Sundowns Scout and Youth Coach, Mandla Mazibuko spoke to us about his life in football and what he looks for in a player for Sundowns
Mandla Mazibuko had the same dreams and hopes as a lot of South Africa’s youth. He was an outstanding player and he was looking forward to a future playing the sport of his dreams.
Unfortunately for Mandla, his dreams were cut off before they could even start. Maldla was involved in a head on collision with a Putco Bus.
He was trapped between the bus and the car. He stayed in hospital for three months and it was obvoius that he was not going to be a player any more.
Here he decided that he would become a coach and he also decided what type of coach he was going to become.
Mandla studied hard and met some of the top coaches in South Africa and learned from the best. Opportunities started to open up for him and they helped him to get into the School of Excellence.
Here Mandla learned about all of the different cultures and sociaeconomic conditions that we have in South Africa and that there are different ways to deal and look at football players. This is not something that you can pick up in a book or in a course, this is only something that you can pick up through coaching and speaking to players.
Players learn at different speeds and develop at different age groups, Mandla explains how you deal with the different types of players and how you can get the most out of these players.
Mandla is not a coach that screams and shouts at players, instead he is a coach that gets to know his players and gets the most out of his players through positive encouragement.
Mandla became the assistant coach of the SA U17’s and whilst he was there he got a call from Sundowns and from there he moved to his current position.
Sundowns has got one of the strongest youth development programs in South Africa. Their program grows every year and they have learned a lot from the past years and their past programs.
Sundowns now has centres of excellence in each province and in some of the townships they have multiple centres of excellence where they can find players, coach players and make sure that they can still be in contact with their families, friends and their schools.
Sundowns also push education and that comes from their CEO Patrice Motsepe who is huge in developing an all round individual and an all round football player.
Sundowns have found that it is far more effective to keep very young players in the comfort of the environment that they come from instead of taking them away from home and then training them there.
This has proved to be highly successful for Sundowns.