'Anxious' first day for Komphela but ready to 'share brains' with Manqoba, Rulani

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Rulani Mokwena, Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela (Image courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns' Twitter account)
Rulani Mokwena, Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela (Image courtesy of Mamelodi Sundowns' Twitter account)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela expresses excitement after his first day on the job.
  • The 53-year-old was full of praise for Golden Arrows chairperson Mato Madlala after resigning as the club's head coach.
  • Komphela admits to being amazed at the amount of talent at the club as he joined the training sessions on Monday.

Mamelodi Sundowns' newly appointed senior coach Steve Komphela admitted to feeling "anxious" on his official first day at club headquarters Chloorkop.

The 53-year-old shockingly announced his decision to resign as mentor of Golden Arrows with immediate effect as rumours began to make the rounds that he has taken up a post at Masandawana.

And where there is smoke, there is usually fire as Komphela confirmed the rumours to be true on Monday morning as the Brazilians announced the former Kaizer Chiefs boss as the club’s senior coach.

Komphela will be reporting to joint head coaches Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena, who were recently chosen by the Sundowns board to take the club forward after Pitso Mosimane departed for Egypt to take up a post at Al Ahly.

"First days are very anxious, but I am very delighted to be part of this great team," Komphela told the media.

"Joining a team of this calibre, expectations will always be there. And beyond that joining coach Rulani and coach Manqoba at their head coach positions.

"It's all about coming and sharing brains and thinking of the club’s best interest."


Komphela has a healthy coaching pedigree but only started five years after retiring as a player in 1997. He took over Manning Rangers before mentoring Dynamos between 2002 and 2004.

He then went on to coach under-20 South Africa before having a short stint at Maritzburg United before coaching the SA under-23 squad.

His popularity rose even further when Kaizer Motaung lured Komphela to Soweto to replace Stuart Baxter after the Scotsman opted to leave Amakhosi.

Despite remaining three years at the Glamour Boys, club fans heavily scrutinising his approach to the game and he was eventually sacked.

Komphela then found himself in the Free State attempting to steady a rocky ship at Bloemfontein Celtic.

That did not last long.


Mato Madlala, Arrows chairperson, took a chance on Komphela in December 2018 and he is forever grateful for the opportunity.

"I must sincerely and genuinely thank sis-Mato, my chairlady at Golden Arrows. She’s been more than a boss to me," he said.

"She's been great, and I must state sis-Mato, thank you so much as well for the opportunity and the difficult conversation we had before I could join Mamelodi Sundowns.

"One thing she must know, she will forever remain a deep mark in my heart and I remain indebted to her."


Komphela could not hide his excitement around the talent at the club and knows a few of the players as has worked with some of the names at Bafana Bafana level and at previous clubs.

"I've worked with some of these superstars here, but it was amazing to come across the cream that you meet at the training ground. Unbelievable," Komphela said about the current Sundowns squad.

"You see sparks of quality and the energy was there. You could feel like 'goodness me'. This is an environment that is so fertile that success should also be a possibility and not underestimate the fact that the success they build is actually their enemy because they have to get better.

"What they have built, to who they are today is what has to be maintained worst case scenario, but it has to be surpassed is what coach Manqoba and coach Rulani has mentioned in the past.

It's a great environment. I am also aware of the fact that there are new players coming in they are also at the same level of anxiety.

"This is my first day and as a coach you have a responsibility to have everybody settle down. Now how do you let everybody settle down when you are also not settled yet? But it remains a massive responsibility."

Fans will get the opportunity to see Komphela in the Sundowns dugout this weekend as the 2020/21 season starts with the MTN8 quarter finals as the Brazilians clash against Celtic on Sunday.

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