Erik Hamren explains decision to join Mamelodi Sundowns as head of technical
Posted: 23 January 2018 Time: 08:00
Mamelodi Sundowns’ technical director Erik Hamren has explained what exactly lured him to South Africa, as he enters into unfamiliar territory.
Hamren was last week confirmed as a new member of The Brazilians’ backroom staff, with the responsibility of aiding both the first team and the club’s youth academy.
The Swede comes with seven years’ experience with his national team, which he lead to two European Championships in 2012 and 2016. He also previously coached clubs in his homeland, Denmark and Norway.
The 60-year-old tactician has now returned to football after a one-and-a-half year hiatus following his departure from The Blue-Yellow upon the conclusion of their Euro 2016 campaign.
“After the 2016 Euro, I wanted a break from football and, after more than a year away, I felt I would like to return to the game because I was still hungry,” Hamren explained when asked why he chose Sundowns.
“But, I wanted to do something else – something new, and this is something different to what I used to do. It’s a new club, in a new country and a new part of the world.
“The second thing is when I got the question from my agent on whether I wanted to come here, I knew it was a big club in South Africa and in Africa.
“I first came in December last year and I met the people in the club – Pitso and the president [Patrice Mostepe] and so on, and when he [Motsepe] told me his ambitions for the club, I must say I was more interested because I like challenges.
“I have to also say it’s going to be a really tough challenge to achieve those things, but I’m really excited to be a part of it, because we need to work together to do that.”
Downs head coach Pitso Mosimane has also welcomed the addition of Hamren, who he admits boasts more experience than himself and looks forward to his contribution.
“Erik is going to work with the first team also, not only the youth. He’s starting to adjust and we’re still taking him through all the structures in the team,” added Mosimane.
“He’s working with Trott [Moloto], who’s taking him through the ropes, so he’ll need time to adjust.
“He’s got experience – more than me – so we welcome him and we’ll also teach him the culture of the country. South African football can be very difficult to Europeans, you know.
“So, he’s going to learn. But, obviously, you can’t coach Sweden for seven years and not have anything to contribute, so Erik is welcome to help us.”