Former Kaizer Chiefs captain Willard Katsande has compared the Mamelodi Sundowns scouting department to Spanish giants Real Madrid’s. In his first “Kicking With Katsande’s Column” for Thisisfootball.Africa in 2023, the Sekhukhune United Ambassador has said that Real Madrid and Sundowns have the same qualities when it comes to scouting players.
The Brazilians are in sterling form this season, having won 11 games in a row and are on top of the DStv Premiership table with a 14-point gap over second placed Richards Bay. Sundowns are well on the way to winning the league for sixth consecutive time.
“When they do their business, they do it on a higher level. Downs have a much better scouting department compared to Chiefs and Pirates. Sundowns have a squad, not a team and once you have a squad, that’s where you win leagues. You see this at top teams overseas, like Real Madrid, where they always have ready made replacements
“If you have a team and not a squad, you will have a problem because if one player gets injured or is suspended, everything is derailed. There will be no proper replacement. Unfortunately, at Chiefs and Pirates, they just put any player in. At Sundowns they don’t just put any player in as a replacement, they put the exact replacement in. That’s the difference. Sundowns are doing well in their scouting department. The guys know what to do as scouts. It’s a clear to see why they sign a player and who he has come to challenge in the squad. You don’t get that feeling from Chiefs or Pirates.
“Look now, if a player whose contract is coming to an end at a particular time, like Andile Jali, Downs have his replacement already worked out. His position will be filled by someone who has been there for a while and is trained to do the job that Jali fulfills.
“So yeah, you must put your scouting network in a good position. I know for Real Madrid, their scouts do not even watch their live games because they are always out to doing their job as scouting. That is what I think Sundowns are doing, and they have a brilliant coach in Rulani Mokwena as I said before. They know how to transform average players into becoming top players. All this goes down to their scouts and coaches.”
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