Mothobi Mvala. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU
Mothobi Mvala. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX/SAMUEL SHIVAMBU

Competition at star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns is fierce and imposing central midfielder Mothobi Mvala is prepared to fight for his place as a No 6 or No 8.                         

Mvala is in healthy competition with Andile Jali‚ Rivaldo Coetzee‚ Hlompho Kekana‚ Grant Margeman and George Maluleka. Co-coaches Manqoba Mngqithi‚ Steve Komphela and Rulani Mokwena have been rotating the players.

In five matches for the Brazilians since he joined from Highlands Park along with striker Peter Shalulile‚ Mvala has been used both as a defensive midfield No 6 or a more advanced box-to-box No 8 and has enjoyed both roles.

“Sometimes the coaches play me as No 6 and sometimes they play me as No 8. I think I played as a No 6 twice and as an 8 twice and I really enjoyed the roles I was given,”  Mvala said as Sundowns prepared to take on SuperSport United in the top-of-the table Tshwane derby at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.

Even more impressively‚ Mvala has found the back of the net twice in the preliminary stages of the Caf Champions League against Botswana minnows Jwaneng Galaxy.

“Talking about the two goals‚ one was scored from a set-piece and the other from open play. When I play as a No 6‚ most of the time it’s about protecting the defence. I also help to start play and when we get a set-piece I go forward because we have guys who can deliver the balls, like Aubrey Modiba‚ Hashim Domingo‚ Rivaldo, so that I can finish with the head.

“A couple of games that we played‚ the guys delivered good balls and I managed to head one. That is my job when I play as a No 6.

“When I play as a No 8‚ I have a chance to get closer to the goals, and with the quality that we have, I know that in 45 minutes I will at least have four or even more goalscoring opportunities.

“I enjoy playing in both positions and I appreciate the help from my teammates for encouraging me and the coaches for pointing out areas where I need to improve, but we are getting there.”

Having already tasted Champions League football with two goals‚ Mvala wants more and can’t wait for the group stages where Sundowns have been drawn with CR Belouizdad‚ Al Hilal and TP Mazembe.

“I am looking forward to the group stages and I have been talking to a couple of guys who have played at that level, like Tebogo Langerman and Mosa Lebusa‚” he said.

“They have told me to be prepared because it’s dog eats dog there and you hustle for a win at home and away from home. I am ready for it and we will see what happens in the coming months.”

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