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Pitso Mosimane: A man for all seasons at five-year mark

Pitso Mosimane completed something of a rare feat in South African football when he passed the five-year mark in charge of Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend.

In a league where the turnover of coaches is particularly high, Mosimane has found longevity, not just in his current position, but also at SuperSport United where he campaigned before.

That is not to say he has not had some uncomfortable moments as impatient Sundowns fans protested against him in the early days of his reign, but having delivered the CAF Champions League title, African Super Cup, two domestic league titles, the Telkom Knockout and the Nedbank Cup, his tenure can only, to date, be classified as a huge success.

There have been few longer tenures in South African football, barring the self-appointed Jomo Sono as Jomo Cosmos.

Gavin Hunt stayed six seasons at SuperSport before moving to Bidvest Wits in 2013, and is now into his fifth campaign with The Clever Boys.

Gordon Igesund spent four-and-a-half seasons with Manning Rangers that included an unlikely league victory, while Roger de Sa also spent a little over four-and-a-half seasons at Wits in his second spell in charge.

However, for the rest there has been plenty of chopping and changing.

Neither Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, have ever had a coach for longer than three seasons, while Sundowns have, prior to the arrival of Mosimane, also had a tendency to chop and change.

Now, however, he is their longest-serving coach and having signed a new four-year contract to keep him at the club until 2020 at least, looks unlikely to be headed anywhere soon.

It comes at a time when new West Ham United boss David Moyes admitted that short-term contracts for coaches would become the norm and that any hint they were struggling would see jittery clubs, playing a high-stakes game with the finances flying about football, would pull the trigger.

"I'd love to think football clubs would always go long-term and think that way," Moyes told reporters.

"I hope it'll turn full circle. At the moment [coaches] are now down to probably 16 months in the job, maybe even less in some cases.

"What it means is there's always a chance of a change of staff and a change of players. It doesn't get to be settled and bedded down.

"Sometimes you need the directors to say, 'OK we have to go with it, we have to put things in place for the long term.'

"There are other things you need to develop -- you want your academy to develop, you want all the things around your club, your infrastructure, all to be good.

"Myself included, maybe even more so. My job is to come here and win games and make sure we stay up. I'm here at the moment on a short-term contract.

"The future for managers looks more likely to be short-term contracts than managers tending to get 10 or 11 years in any one job."

Mosimane has certainly seemed better equipped to deal with the pressure of the job from when he first took over, his post-match press conferences are less acerbic and he takes the set-backs in his stride.

"If you talk about pressure at Sundowns, it is like breathing oxygen," he recently told reporters, as per the Citizen. "Pressure is always there whether you are number one or last, you are coaching Mamelodi Sundowns, pressure is always there. If you don't want the pressure, do not be there.

"The players have pressure, I have pressure. We are big team that is used to winning, you've got to win."

Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe, who has seen his dream of his club becoming African champions realised under Mosimane, says he hopes his coach can emulate the 27-year stay of sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

"I would like Pitso to become‚ I don't want to say Arsène Wenger because he has challenges‚ but the Alex Ferguson of Mamelodi Sundowns," Motsepe told TimesLIVE.

"I have these nephews who support Barcelona and the one who support Arsenal says he does not know when is Wenger going to leave," he added. "There is nothing that will please me more personally than for Pitso to spend many‚ many years at Mamelodi Sundowns.

"There is a realisation that the longer a person is in a position‚ the greater the consistency and experience. That's when a club can really reap the benefits of the experience."

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