Percy Tau in action for Mamelodi Sundowns against Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versveld Stadium. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

“He exhausts me so much,” Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said, with a voice coated with a father’s love as he talked about the Brazilians’ ace Percy Tau.

Mosimane said this yesterday at the PSL's headquarters in Parktown after the Brazilians’ clean sweep at the PSL monthly awards.

“Jingles” bagged the Coach of the Month award and Tau Player of the Month for December, while Hlompho Kekana won the Goal of the Month accolade for November for the brilliant goal he scored against Orlando Pirates in his own half. Tau’s award is part of the bigger picture for him and his coach.

“We do a lot of work with Percy. He exhausts me so much. He takes everything from me. But it’s for a good cause. I can show you the messages we exchange,” Mosimane said. “We work a lot. We have a plan. The plan is for him to become Footballer of the Year. We spoke about this plan at the beginning of the year. We are on course, with nine assists and seven goals.”

Tau sat motionless, blushing whenever Mosimane or Kekana paid him a compliment. Tau looked rattled with his eyes wide open as he frantically gazed at his surroundings. That habit comes in handy during matches, helping him slip away from opponents with ease.

“I have lost a lot of time that I need to catch up on,” Tau said. “I spent a lot (of) time not playing and I even went on loan (at Witbank Spurs in the NFD) to get game time. I just try every day to grab the opportunities that are given to me and be better. The inspiration comes from wanting to be better. I want to see myself one day and be proud of what I achieved in football.”

The Brazilians will look to celebrate their awards in style by getting the better of Platinum Stars at Loftus tomorrow night. 

Mosimane, who tends to be a bit conservative in his analysis of his players’ readiness to go overseas, believes that Tau is ready but in the same breath says that there are some elements of his game that need improvement.

“We put a lot of hours before the match doing his analysis because he does so many actions, so there is a lot of content to work on,” Mosimane said. “Sometimes we start at 8.30am until 10am a day before the match. But he has the capacity to absorb the stress. You can see the way he plays football, and I told you before he played for Bafana Bafana, that we need a brave player like him to lead our attack. You can agree with me that I was right.

“But there is still a lot of room for improvement. He needs to score more than he does at the moment. He is on top of his game. In my football career I have never had the opportunity to work with a youngster like him.

“He takes everything I throw at him because sometimes I can be a little bit intense. Some players can’t stand me. I can be too much. I want the best of the best. We fight a lot over mistakes that we addressed. But it’s growth. The future is bright. One day he will lead the country, playing for a club in another country.”

Cape Times