Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Rivaldo Coetzee says he has embraced his new role in the heart of the park under coach Pitso Mosimane.
The former Ajax Cape Town defender was converted by ‘Jingles’ to play alongside the likes of Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, and Andile Jali.
On the other hand, Coetzee says it was a bit tricky to settle down in his new role but he eventually fell in love with his new role.
“Yes, I would say that the position grew on me and training in that position every day before the lockdown has helped me to adapt to it,” Coetzee told the Sundowns website.
“I actually enjoy playing midfield, I hope I can continue there and maybe have a future in that position.
“It was a bit tricky in the beginning, I wasn’t used to people pressing me from behind. I was used to seeing everything on the pitch and that made it easier for me to attack space.”
The 23-year-old Bafana Bafana international also explained what makes a good midfielder and that he found players such as Manchester City’s IIkay Gundogan as his role model.
“But in midfield, you have to think quicker and always scan so you know what’s happening around you, and know what to do with the ball before you even receive it,” he added.
“There are a few players that I like in that position, especially from teams that play the same football we do at Mamelodi Sundowns, which is to dominate and play to always have the ball. Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan at Manchester City are just two examples.”
Taking a look at his contribution to the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions, the Kakamas-born player has featured in 10 matches across all competitions so far.
As things stand, Sundowns are chasing a 10th PSL title but they have to fight off log leaders Kaizer Chiefs who sit at the summit of the log with 48 points from 22 games, whilst Masandawana have 44 with a game in hand.
In addition, Coetzee will also look to help the reigning Telkom Knockout Cup champions to Nedbank Cup glory as they are scheduled to face Bidvest Wits in the semi-finals once the season resumes after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.