Michael Loftman arrives: Kaizer Chiefs shown the way by Mamelodi Sundowns?

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Michael Loftman, Mamelodi Sundowns, February 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena has made additions to his backroom staff by roping in a set-play coach.
  • Sundowns have beefed up their technical team
  • Ex-Pirates coach Loftman has joined them
  • He has previously worked with Mokwena

WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilians announced Michael Loftman has joined them as set play coach. The 33-year-old is reunited with Mokwena after the two previously worked together at Orlando Pirates where he was a performance analyst as well as reserve team coach.

Loftman gained experience during the four months he spent with the Egypt national team as Carlos Queiroz’s performance manager. Earlier this season, he was head coach of National First Division side Venda Football Academy but did not last long in that role.

WHAT WAS SAID: “We are very happy to have Michael and add his competencies to the experienced and highly qualified technical team,” said Sundowns sporting director Flemming Berg.

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AND WHAT MORE? Sundowns explained in greater detail Loftman’s role at Chloorkop.

“All elite sport is about gaining small margins. Replays and restarts are a significant part of modern-day football and are even more crucial when playing in the Caf Champions League,” the club said.

“In his role, the experienced coach and performance data analyst will work on the pitch and compile analytic data to provide information to improve an important part of the game.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Loftman's hiring is a statement of how Sundowns are planning to continue dominating the PSL as well as seeking glory on the Champions League.

That could increase the gap between them and other Premier Soccer League teams as well as Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

In January, Pirates had a specialist forwards coach Scott Chickelday but he lasted just a month in his role. In the five games he was involved, the Buccaneers showed improvements in attack.

Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has since expressed interest in hiring a trainer to work with his strikers.

WHAT NEXT FOR LOFTMAN? Loftman has already started work and is part of the delegation travelling to Cameroon for Friday's Caf Champions League match against Cotonsport Garoua.

He would be keen to have an impact at Sundowns as they bid to lift the Champions League.