Mamelodi Sundowns is a Pretoria-based football club and one of the most popular teams in South Africa. Sundowns was founded in the 1960s by youngsters residing north west of the Pretoria CBD. Downs joined the then Federation Premier Soccer League in 1970.
This was the same year the club turned professional. The club was relegated to the second division after a merger of the professional leagues in SA. The club currently calls Loftus Versfeld home. It shares the ground with the Blue Bulls.
Nicknamed the Brazilians after their yellow and blue kit, Masandawana gained promotion in 1985 to the then National Soccer League, which was the only sports organisation that allowed multiracial participants. It is currently coached by former Bafana Bafana boss Pitso Mosimane, while mining boss Patrice Motsepe owns 100% of the club’s shares. After winning the Absa Premiership in 203/14, Mosimane’s men finished second behind Kazier Chiefs last season.
Club legend Daniel Mudau tops the scoring charts with 172 goals. Mudau also holds the most appearances for the club with 390 matches. Downs has won the league title six times in its current guise. The Brazilians landed the old National Soccer League three times while they have won the Nedbank Cup three times, Telkom Knockout twice, MTN8 thrice and the old Ohlsson’s Challenge Cup once.
The club’s highest win stands at 24-0. The score was inflicted on amatuer side Powerlines FC in a Nedbank Cup match. Conversely, the highest defeat stands at 6-1, which came against Africa Sport in a CAF match in 2000.
In 2001 Sundowns became the second club from South Africa to reach the CAF Champions League final. However Masandawana lost the final 4-1 on aggregate to Egyptian giants Al Ahly. Mosimane’s men will commence its Premiership season with a trip to Platinum Stars before hosting Bidvest Wits and a visit to Mpumalanga Black Aces.
Mosimane has acquired the services of Keegan Dolly from Ajax Cape Town so far.* Wits coach Gavin Hunt has rebuked Downs’ management for underhand tactics in trying to sign Sibusiso Vilakazi. Burundi striker Abdul Razak Fiston has been signed on a three year contract from Kenyan club Sofapaka. Mosimane is rumoured to be interested in signing current player of the season Tefu Mashamaite. Mashamaite is seen as a suitable replacement for Alje Schut. Teko Modise has penned a fresh two year contract with the club seeing him extend his stay. Former captain Esrom Nyandoro has been offered a management role.
At the exit door, Shcut has left, returning home to the Netherlands. However midfielder Lebohang Mokoena has downplayed rumours of wanting an exit from the club. Meanwhile Rodney Ramagalela is set to leave as he looks for more game time. Defender Rheece Evans is currently training with Ajax as he looks to sign with the Urban Warriors. Emmanuel Mathias has moved to Platinum Stars. Striker Bonginkosi Ntuli has also joined Dikwena, but only on loan.
*Correct as at 3 August 2015