Tlhopie Motsepe: Players want to come to Sundowns

Hlompho Kekana being honoured by Thlopie Motsepe during the DStv Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Amazulu at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Picture by ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The discussion about how Mamelodi Sundowns buys players, sometimes without needing them, has resurfaced. Last weekend, Sundowns announced Terrence Mashego as their new player. Mashego was bought from Cape Town City for an estimated amount of ten million rand according to close sources. Although Sundowns are known for buying quality players, they surprised many by acquiring Mashego when they have players like Lyle Lakay and Aubrey Modiba.

Explaining the new Downs player, Rulani Mokwena, said: “This opportunity to buy players is amazing. Some clubs are not financially stable. Actually, we did not have a plan to buy a left-back,” said Mokwena after Downs beat Amazulu 1- 0.

“We thought we would be done buying new players – but when it was revealed that a quality player like Mashego was available, we had to make a move. We did not get him because there was a problem with the players we had, we got him because Mashego is a quality player,” said Mokwena.

Football fans have accused Sundowns of buying players in bulk because they want to weaken rival teams in the DStv Premiership. The president of Sundowns, Tlhopie Motsepe, has rubbished people’s claims saying that players want to come to his club because they see that it changes people’s lives in football. “I do not know where these criticisms come from. It is the players who want to come to Sundowns because they see that it can improve their lives,” said Motsepe.

He said this while honouring Hlompho Kekana who retired last season after playing for Sundowns for ten years. “We were blessed with the presence of a quality player like Hlompho Kekana here at Sundowns. He was competing with Teko Modise and Tiyani Mabunda. I am trying to say that the players themselves want to come to Sundowns because they want to improve their lives and gain things or trophies in football,” said Motsepe who is reported to have spent fifty-one million rand on Marcelo Allende from Chile who is currently playing for Downs.

Sundowns signed a handful of players this season, it was expected that the club will release several players before the closure of the transfer window yesterday.

Edit: Lyle Lakay was signed by Cape Town City FC on loan.