Former Zimbabwe captain, Method Mwanjali, feels Pitso Mosimane “has left a big void to be filled” following his departure from the South African Premiership club.
Mosimane resigned as Sundowns coach on Wednesday and was unveiled as the new Al Ahly coach on Thursday.
It ended speculation about his future as he was also reported to be under Wydad Casablanca’s radar.
After racking up 11 major trophies, including five South African Premier Soccer League titles and a CAF Champions League crown at Sundowns, a club he joined in December 2012, expectations would be very high on Mosimane’s successor to, at least, get close to his predecessor’s exploits.
No major hint has been picked up so far regarding the identity of the man to take over from the former South Africa coach.
Some indications point to Manqoba Mngqithi and club technical director Jose Ramon Alexanko, although club president, Patrice Motsepe, said the Spaniard would remain in his current role.
“Sundowns will be a different team altogether looking at what Pitso has brought to the team and how he changed a lot of players’ lives both football-wise and social,” Mwanjali told Goal.
“His departure has left a big void to be filled. The new coach coming in should emulate his achievements or better them.
“Pitso has changed Sundowns to be one of the best teams in Africa. He is a great, passionate and hard-working coach which is what matters most about him.
“He never sleeps when it comes to football, hence his achievements. I wish him well in his new endeavours.”
Mwanjali played under Mosimane who handed him the captain’s armband.
Interestingly, Mosimane joins eight-time African champions Al Ahly, a team that knocked Sundowns out of this season’s CAF Champions League at the quarter-final stage.
He will coach both clubs in a single Champions League campaign.
The former Bafana Bafana coach could have been an easy option for Al Ahly, who appreciated his capabilities up-close after he guided Sundowns to a 5-0 win over the Egyptian giants in last season’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Mosimane could take along attacker Gaston Sirino to Al Ahly after the Egyptians’ persistence on the Uruguayan.
Sundowns have twice rejected the North Africans’ bid for Sirino.
Mosimane has thanked the club’s management, led by president Mahmoud El Khatib, and pledged to give his best. The Herald