The newly-crowned Ekurhuleni SAB League champions Luso Africa were better than everyone else in the league this season largely due to the experience of their players, says coach Mike Meundane.
The Germiston-based club clinched the title on Sunday after beating Zone 7 2-1 at the Shukumani Primary School in Tembisa, to open an insurmountable 15-point gap between themselves and second-placed Highlands Park, who have four games left in the 2018/2019 season. Meundane, who along with his team have enjoyed the top spot on the log for the better part of the season, says his experience also came in handy. He has coached for 10 years in the ABC Motsepe League, a division which his current team will hope to gain promotion to via the upcoming play-offs, and has even led a team to the National First Division (NFD) previously.
But over and above his personal experience at a higher level, Meundane also attributes the team’s success to the players they signed earlier in the season, saying they made all the difference. “The league was competitive, we never had an easy game. You know, from the first game we played, we drew two games in a row, it was too competitive. And then when we started bringing in new players, it’s where we were able to start winning games. They added a big value.”
The team will now compete with the winners of the other regional leagues from around Gauteng, for a place in the province’s ABC Motsepe League for the 2019/2020 season. Meundane is bullish about their chances, albeit admitting that he does not know much about the teams from the other regional leagues. He says he doesn’t have any reservations about that they will be promoted, and that they will do well in the third-tier league in their first season. “We’ll do well; we’ll bring in the right players at the right time. We are going to establish a team that will make Ekurhuleni proud; we’ll promote this team to NFD.
“It’s a street-wise league; you need coaches who have worked in that league, who understand it, and also to understand that you have to have the experience how to train your team.”
The former Kaizer Chiefs player boasts the experience of having coached in the ABC Motsepe League and the NFD, at teams like Black Leopards and Batau FC, which he helped gain promotion to the second-tier. He has also coached eSwatini giants Mbabane Swallows.
According to the 52-year-old mentor, the SAB League Play-offs will take place sometime in June, and he invites players from around Ekurhuleni who might be interested in joining his team to get in contact with the club.