Sundowns youngsters give coach Badela a pleasant selection headache

football27 March 2024 14:20| © Mzansi Football

Mamelodi Sundowns DStv Diski Challenge team delivered an impressive performance without four key players this past weekend to claim the Tshwane derby bragging rights.

Sundowns recorded a resounding 3-0 win over SuperSport United.

Coach Themba Badela’s team was without four key players – Siyabonga Mabena, Keabetswe Ramotsei, Thato Nkabinde and Mahlatse Mampane.

The quartet were all part of the SA Under-20 training camp that was held during the Fifa break.

However, Sundowns did not feel their absence as the players who were selected which includes impressed.

With the quartet returning to the club, Sundowns’ coach Badela has admitted that these youngsters have given him a pleasant selection headache.

Onele Rulwana produced a man-of-the-match performance on the day, while the likes of Bongani Mthembu, Siyabonga Ndebele and Malibongwe Khoza were also impressive.

“I asked the remaining players to give me a headache so that during the week when the other players come back, they will know that they have to fight for their positions. I am very proud of them,” said Badela, who is in his first season in the DDC.

He continued: “We do not train players in isolation; the players know that they (the players who have seen less game time) have been unfortunate not to start games. But they can go to any team and be in the starting 11.”

The former Black Poison and All Stars coach hinted that he might continue with the same squad on Sunday when they travel to Stellenbosch FC.

He explained: “When you have players that are in form it is very difficult to change the line-up. We just need to keep on improving week by week. There has been a lot of improvement, and I am happy to see how the players have grown from day one up until now.”

Sundowns are currently sitting at the top of the Diski Challenge table with 53 points from 23 games.

They are five points ahead of second-placed Stellenbosch and with more consistency they could see themselves winning their second Diski Challenge title.