‘I have no future at Sundowns’
Ex-Mamelodi Sundowns player and assistant coach Alex “Barnes” Bapela has explained why returning to the Tshwane side is of no interest to him.
He was coach Pitso Mosimane’s assistant when Downs won the league title in the 2013/14 season, but left under a cloud. At the time, Bapela went through a disciplinary hearing after voicing some grievances with the club’s management and was demoted to coach the MultiChoice Diski Challenge (MDC) team the following season before his exit.
Bapela ended up coaching Baberwa in the ABC Motsepe League, but also didn’t stay long and says he’s now into farming at home in Limpopo.
“It’s a difficult question, because going [back] to Sundowns would be a step backwards,” said Bapela, who was part of a group of legends that played at Saselamani Stadium in Malamulele at the weekend.
“I was with Sundowns for maybe close to 15 years [as a player and later coach] and then to go back to them, and do what? I love Sundowns so much but at Sundowns there’s no growth for me. I’ve been there and was Pitso’s assistant when we won the league. After that, instead of me being big, I got smaller and smaller [through demotion].”
Bapela, meanwhile, has heaped praises on the current Sundowns team that has won four league titles since Mosimane took over in 2012.