Mamelodi Sundowns are advancing preparations for the upcoming season and have welcomed the addition of a number of new players to help bolster the strength of the squad. Strikers Pavol Šafranko and Thabiso Kutumela have joined to beef up the attack whilst defenders Grant Kekana and Divine Lunga and former Bloemfontein Celtic duo of Neo Maema and Sifiso Ngobeni complete the list of signings to date.
As with any pre-season programme, one of the key objectives for the team is to get the new faces in the team accustomed to the traditions of the club and make sure that they jell in with the rest of the players. We sat down with a few of our players to find out their thoughts on settling into life at Mamelodi Sundowns.
Grant Kekana has moved base across town after joining from SuperSport United on a five-year contract with The Brazilians. After starting his pre-season training at his new home ground the right-back shared his feelings on settling in with the team and re-uniting with one of his good mates, Aubrey Modiba : “It feels good, it’s always nice moving into a new environment with familiar faces, I think [that] has also helped me to gel with the boys.”
“[Our friendship is] good, inside and outside of football because there are also a few community projects that we tend to partner up with. I think our relationship goes even beyond the football aspect.”, Kekana expressed.
Neo Maema has joined Mamelodi Sundowns amidst much fanfare with many keen to see the left-footed attacker strut his stuff in the colours of The Brazilians. Maema shared his impressions on how he has been welcomed into his new home: “Coming to Mamelodi Sundowns has been a privilege. Settling in with the guys has been very good, it is very challenging but the guys made it very easy for me to settle in.”
The skillful attacking midfielder, who will be linking up with former Celtic teammates, has found comfort in the squad: “There are quite a lot of guys that I made friends with, like Mshishi (Themba Zwane) and Aubrey Modiba just to mention a few. Lyle Lakay and Thapelo Morena (Both former Bloemfontein Celtic players) are the guys that have shown me around, we [have always been] connected from Celtic, we had a good relationship and [we are] still building something strong.”
Zimbabwean full-back Divine Lunga joined the Yellow Nation after his impressive displays for Golden Arrows last season. Lunga follows in the footsteps of many talented Zimbabwean players who have worn the Sundowns jersey, including legends like Esrom Nyandoro, Cuthbert Malajila and current team manager Peter Ndlovu.
“I am settling in well, the guys are treating me well, they have welcomed me here in a good way. Some of the players like to make jokes and I think that’s how I’m jelling in because I am that person who likes to laugh. I don’t talk much but when the guys crack some jokes, I am going to laugh and talk with them.” said Divine as he opened up on his arrival at Chloorkop.