Mambush: The role of the modern day striker

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If there is one person with complete authority to run the rule over the modern day striker in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), not many are as qualified as Daniel ‘Mambush’ Mudau.

His record at the club remains intact, with his 110 goals for ‘The Brazilians’ that went some distance in helping the club win three league titles under the late Ted Dumitru (two championships) and Frenchman Paul Dolezar.

Mudau, now the Sundowns supporters’ coordination manager, argues that the days when teams would play with a front two, a combination of speed and strength has been altered to some degree.

“Yes, of course,” he says when asked if the role of the modern day striker has changed.

“It’s different because we used to rely on speedy strikers that will run at the defenders to create opportunities to score, and the big strikers that will hold the ball and fight with the defenders on the air in those days,” – Mudau. Picture: Mamelodi Sundowns. 

Many who watched ‘Mambush’ will remember him as the runner, but who was doing the dirty work of shielding defenders to give him space.

“Raphael Chukwu. He was very strong and physical and he scored goals in difficult situations and it was tough for defenders to mark him for 90 minutes,” recalls Mudau.

Although the game has evolved since he retired, Downs’ DNA hasn’t, and the legend shares what he still appreciates watching Sundowns in action.

“I enjoy it when they don’t lose the ball. And their ability to build from the back frustrating the opposition team when they attack because they come in numbers,” he explains.

Mambush’ probably does anticipate the day someone else matches his club record, but for now, he continues to relish the moment.

“I am very humbled and honoured, I have to thank the players that I played with during my playing days because I wouldn’t be a record goalscorer of Sundowns for such a long time and even I have retired from playing soccer,” says the man who remains one of only five players in the PSL to manage a 100 goals or more.

“I won’t forget the coaches that coached me because they put a lot of knowledge of football into me as a player.

“Lastly, I want to thank the supporters of Masandawana who supported me throughout my football career because they gave me confidence when I was scoring and not scoring goals. Thanks once again to them for composing songs about me in my playing days.”

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By Mamelodi Sundowns

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