It wasn’t an easy process but Andile Jali has finally got things right at Mamelodi Sundowns.
Jali arrived at Downs 18 months ago, having signed a 5-year contract.
Last season, the midfielder played 16 matches in all competitions and he’d be the first to admit that wasn’t good enough, given his qualities.
This season (2019/2020), Jali has been bossing the midfield and has already played 14 times, and the season still has a long way to go.
Downs coach Pitso Mosimane explained after the Brazilians beat Maritzburg United 2-1 at Moses Mabhida Stadium at the weekend to win the Telkom Knockout how Jali has managed to get back to his best.
“Yeah, but he was not in a good condition physically, let’s be honest. He shed weight – I think he shed 5 or 6 (kilograms),” said Mosimane.
“He’s looking after his diet, you must see him at training. In the morning, he’s not eating other things that people are eating. He knows (what to do); he’s a big boy. He knows where he belongs, because these guy won a double treble with Orlando Pirates.
“So I mean really, he knows the story and he changed his mind – he changed everything, and decided to play football. So he’s playing football and we helped him a lot,” Mosimane continued.
Mosimane also said that Jali struggled to deal with the setup at Chloorkop.
Jali is a loud character – a happy soul, but Mosimane said the likes of captain Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Gaston Sirino, Wayne Arendse and many others at the club are not necessarily loud characters, especially in the dressing room and Jali needed to adjust.
“He struggled a little bit to understand the culture at Mamelodi Sundowns, because we have a very quiet dressing room. We don’t want flashy (players),” stated Mosimane.
“That dressing room is quiet, we don’t want it to be too noisy. You must focus on winning cups, not on Instagram… I don’t like those things.”
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa