Former Mamelodi Sundowns Senior Coach Steve Komphela has addressed why he left the comfortable set-up for Moroka Swallows.
Komphela formed part of the coaching trio at Sundowns alongside Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mnqithi where they won a domestic treble in their first season and the DStv Premiership in the second.
In the squad reshuffle last season, Komphela was elevated from Senior Coach, to First Team Coach, which in essence was the first assistant to Mokwena – before he parted ways a season before his three-year deal expired to join the ‘revival’ of Swallows.
“I think my upbringing gave me a great introduction to adversity, it never introduced me as a cheeseboy,” Komphela said.
“I think… listen you wouldn’t love to see yourself leaving a position like Mamelodi Sundowns, everyone would wish to see themselves in Parktown, Naturena, because it’s quite comfortable and cushy.
“But in every blessing lies a burden. And sometimes it’s always to go to modest environments where you can literally develop a product. And in modest environments, there’s a higher level of appreciation than in environments that’s used to success.
“It wasn’t easy but what made it easy for me was, that I come from nothing, I’m a product of making yourself and as such you’re not attached to luxury – because you were not brought or born out of luxury.
“Even in places that do not have, you can live in a town with one donkey and one horse and take in LA, you can live in Los Angeles without having a problem – so you have to be at a level where you understand an opportunity in an environment that does not have… calls for expertise that you can be part of that improvement.
“It’s a beautiful challenge, also when you have an environment that has everything, it does give pleasure, it does give some sort of satisfaction to see progress but not entirely because, to be honest. The environment is quite enabling. Not to say Swallows isn’t but there are more challenges. “
Komphela continued: “As I say to people, the greatest growth comes in discomfort, I’m not the same person at Sundowns, as I am now – the biggest challenge, is if you had to twist and turn things around, could species in an environment that’s enabling survive here and be at this level? You would never know.
“Could you be better off or be exactly where you at with this feeling and emotion if this environment was enabling like other clubs in the league? But I’m happy I took up the challenge and [it’s] exciting to see the product come through.
“Our focus is more on the product, the outcome of results are the byproduct of it. I’m enjoying it, there are a lot of challenges obviously but just look at it and see where we can go, it’s developing nicely. But I say thanks to my background.”
Fourth-placed Swallows face off against his former side Sundowns in the DStv Premiership after the two-week FIFA International break.