Johannesburg — The thrill of a risky job and the lure of getting out of his comfort zone were the driving forces behind Pitso Mosimane accepting the offer from Saudi Arabian lower-division outfit Al Ahli.
Speaking at a press conference in Sandton prior to his departure to Jeddah, Mosimane admitted that he was putting his reputation on the line by taking on the project of helping the club get back up to the Saudi Pro League.
"We gave them (his management team MT Sports headed by his wife Moira Tlhagale) a mandate to try and handpick a project that is challenging and will take us our of our comfort zone," Mosimane said. "The club has expectations to go back to the top league and for us we want to make history and create a legacy in the middle East.
"We felt this one is a big club, and the exciting thing is that there is a little bit of risk involved. How beautiful will it be for the city of Jeddah to have their club back in the Pro League? It will be beautiful for us to make history and that makes it more challenging. The risk is high, but the reward will be high too."
Mosimane says such challenges are what he thrives on, and he referred to his career which has seen him turn clubs around.
"I have made my career out of awakening sleeping giants. I have never arrived at a team where things were right," he boasted before pointing out how he had gotten a relegation threatened SuperSport United into being Cup specialists; helped Mamelodi Sundowns return to winning ways and becoming continental giants before helping Egypt's Al Ahly get back to dominating Africa.
Mosimane has signed a two-year contract and will be leaving for Jeddah on Sunday along with his technical team.
Typically, the former Bafana Bafana coach has already done his homework — not only on his team, but also on the opposition and the league they will be competing in.
And he says they are ready to hit the ground running, with their first match set to be against Jeddah Club in Wednesday.
“We think we can win the league and bring the team back to the Pro League. We have done the research, I have soldiers who make things easier for me. We have been working together for years now,” Mosimane said.
"My guys have already done the homework so we know what kind of conditioning the players are in and Kabelo (Rangoaga, the physical conditioning coach) had told us that we will have to work a bit on that. Kyle (Solomon, match performance analyst) has scouted our upcoming opposition and Musi (Matlaba, match performance analyst) knows how things work that side."
Mosimane says they will be getting a Saudi coach to join their technical team.
"We will be get a local to guide is. We learnt in Egypt how important it is to respect the culture and the religion of where we are. But also it is good to have someone who knows the place and the players first hand. It will also help with the language although we can speak a bit of Arabic and understand when they speak," Mosimane said.
Given the kind of challenge he has taken on, Mosimane will need all the help he can get.