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Pitso Mosimane receives prestigious award as Saudis begin to recognise his class

  • Mosimane was named Coach of the Month
  • The South African manager has overseen success at Al Ahli
  • He won three of four matches played in February

WHAT HAPPENED: The official account of the Saudi First Division—the Yelo League—announced on Tuesday that Mosimane has won the league’s Manager of the Month award for February, following his exploits with Ahli.

The month didn’t start well for Pitso, as he fell to his first league defeat in Saudi football—a 4-1 home defeat by Al Akhdoud—but things improved dramatically thereafter.

Ahli duly embarked on a three-game winning streak for the rest of the month, dispatching Al Kholood, Al Orubah and Ohod.

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They also started March strongly—defeating Jeddah and Najran—before falling to an unexpected 2-0 home defeat by Al Riyadh.

WHAT’S MORE: The award is due recognition for Mosimane following his excellent start to life in Saudi Arabia since leaving Egypt’s Al Ahly.

He’s won nine of his last 11 matches, and has begun to win over some of the local fans who—initially at least—didn’t appear to be won over by Pitso.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mosimane has put Ahli in a strong position to claim promotion to the Saudi top tier.

They currently have 52 points after 25 matches, one clear of Al Riyadh, in second place, who have played one game more than Pitso’s side.

Al Hazm still lead the way, one point ahead of Ahli having also played 25 matches.

Pitso is no stranger to individual honours, having claimed the PSL Coach of the Season award on five separate occasions during his time with Mamelodi Sundowns.

He has also been honoured by the Confederation of African Football as the Caf Coach of the Year.

WHAT NEXT? Mosimane will get the chance to work with his non-international players during the international break, with the Saudi First Division now taking a break for the rest of the month.

The league resumes on April 15, when Ahli host Al Faisaly, currently in sixth place, as they look to return to winning ways.