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Star Quality Resulted In Kutumela’s Struggle At Sundowns

  • July 11, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Star Quality Resulted In Kutumela’s Struggle At Sundowns

New Richards Bay striker Thabiso Kutumela admits the abundance of star power at Mamelodi Sundowns made it difficult to secure regular playing time.

Kutumela was unveiled at a star-studded gala in Richards Bay on Wednesday alongside Siyethemba Sithebe, Keagan Allan, Fezile Gcaba, Sbani Mntungwa, and Tlakusani Mthethwa.

The unveiling coincided with the announcement of a new sponsor, Phakwe Group, who have committed R100 million over the next three years. Club chairman Sifiso Biyela hinted at further signings with three more players expected to join the squad.

Despite his limited contributions at Sundowns, Kutumela acknowledges the challenges of adapting to a team with such high player quality.

“Everyone knows Sundowns is the best team in the country, and each team has its own culture,” Kutumela said. “You have to adjust when you arrive, adapt to the environment, and get to know each player.”

While his playing time was limited, Kutumela’s three seasons with Sundowns (including a loan spell at Cape Town City last season) yielded two league titles, a Nedbank Cup, and an MTN8. He featured in 38 matches and scored five goals.

“Looking back, it wasn’t a bad experience for me,” Kutumela, who also played for Orlando Pirates, said. “I played a decent number of games, contributed to trophies – league titles, the MTN8, and the Nedbank Cup. Sometimes, it’s not just about individual achievements; it’s about helping the team achieve its goals.”

With Phakwe Group’s investment, chairman Thabiso Tenyane has set clear expectations for the team, aiming for a top-three or top-four finish next season. Tenyane’s investment bolsters the club that narrowly retained its DStv Premiership status through the promotion/relegation playoffs last term.

Looking ahead, Kutumela has a message for Richards Bay fans: “I want to help the team reach its full potential, compete at the top, and score goals,” said the 31-year-old. “As an experienced player, I’m also here to mentor the young players and instill confidence in them.”

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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