NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – Harambee Stars defender Brian Mandela has joined South Africa Premier Soccer League champions Mamelodi Sundowns ‘The Brazilians’ on a three-year deal.
Mandela has been without a team since leaving Maritzburg United at the end of last season due to a serious knee injury picked up on national duty.
“I am really delighted to make this move. It has been a long period of patience and hard work behind the scenes and now the fruits are visible,” Mandela told Capital Sports from Johannesburg, shortly after penning the deal.
He added; “Sundowns is a big team here in South Africa. They are the reigning champions and the demands that come with playing for such a huge team are always massive. I am ready for this new challenge.”
“I am also looking forward to not only helping the team retain the league title but also do well in the CAF Champions League. It will be my second time playing at such a level after doing so with Tusker and I am really excited,” further added the defender.
Mandela returned to South Africa in September last year to continue with his rehabilitation after his knee surgery in France, despite having been let go by Maritzburg where he had risen through the ranks to skipper them.
“It was better for me to recover and do my rehab from there because obviously the facilities and personnel are better and I thank God everything went okay. It has been a very tough period but I always knew through perseverance, I will get something bigger and better on the way,” he stated.
He returned to action early this month, playing his first piece of competitive football in 16 months when he clocked 81 minutes in Kenya’s 2-1 victory over Zambia in a friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium.