Pitso remorseful over Nthethe snub
Posted: 14 May 2018 Time: 10:00
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has admitted that he missed an opportunity to hand former captain Thabo Nthethe a fitting send-off in front of his home supporters.
Nthethe is set to depart The Brazilians after four-and-a-half years of service when his contract runs out at the end of June. During his stay, he collected two Absa Premiership titles, the CAF Champions League and Super Cup, as well as a Telkom Knockout and a Nedbank Cup medal.
In their last game of the domestic season, Sundowns visited Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium, where the 33-year-old had started his career back in 2006/07 – spending seven seasons and lifting the Telkom Knockout in 2012.
It would have been fitting then for the 33-year-old to celebrate his departure from the Tshwane side in front of his current and former’s club supporters, but instead he was left out of the matchday squad - a decision Mosimane admits he didn’t fully think through.
However, ‘Jingles’ defended that Nthethe was not the only player who deserved an opportunity while also explaining that he tried his best to rotate his squad by making eight changes to his line-up, adding also that skipper Hlompho Kekana was a mandatory substitute ahead of the trophy handover.
“Ja, you are right,” responded Mosimane when quizzed over the missed opportunity to honour the defender. “But what about [Asavela] Mbekile, Thendo [Mukumela], Keletso [Makgalwa]? I’m so happy Kennedy [Mweene] played because it was his first game [in the league this season].
“So you can say anything, [but] it’s not only him [Nthethe]. I can’t make everybody [happy], I can only make three substitutes, and it’s always important that the captain is on the pitch in the end so he can lift the trophy.
“But guys, I made eight changes hey - that’s not bad? Eight.”