Saudi side Al-Ahli turn to Pitso Mosimane in bid to bounce back from shock relegation

Pitso Mosimane has been tasked with restoring Saudi side Al-Ahli to the upper echelon of the country’s football after they were surprisingly relegated to the second tier last season.
Decorated South African football coach Pitso Mosimane has finally found a new club after his departure from Egypt-based African giants Al Ahly.
Mosimane was confirmed by Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ahli Jeddah as their new head coach on Sunday, 25 September.
“Welcome, coach. Pitso Mosimane is the new manager of our first football team,” the club said in a social media statement.
“Coach Pitso and his technical team of Kabelo Rangoaga (fitness trainer), Musi Matlaba and Kyle Solomon (performance analysts) are ready for the challenge,” Mosimane’s agency MT Sports confirmed in its statement. “The decorated South African technical team will be heading to Saudi Arabia from September 2022 to join Al-Ahli in Jeddah.”
The appointment ends Mosimane’s three-month sabbatical from coaching. The Kagiso-born supercoach took a break to mull over his options after ending a relatively successful tenure in Egypt.
During his 21-month stay with one of the powerhouses of world football, Mosimane reached three CAF Champions League finals in a row, winning two. He also added the CAF Super Cup, the Egypt Cup, as well as a bronze medal in the Fifa Club World Cup to this haul.
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Task of revival
The 58-year-old coach has now been tasked with bringing similar success to Jeddah giants Al-Ahli. One of the founding members of the Saudi Pro League, the team had never been relegated – until the 2021/22 season. Al-Ahli were shockingly demoted from the league after finishing second from the bottom, with just 32 points from 30 games.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the three-time Saudi champions. Between 2013 and 2020, the Jeddah juggernauts consistently managed top four finishes. They won their most recent league title in 2016, before finishing as the runner-up in the two subsequent seasons.
The Royal, as the club is affectionately called by their faithful, have started off their tenure in this unfamiliar territory indifferently. To date, the 2012 Asian Champions League runners-up have played five matches in Division One. Of those, they have won two, drawn two and lost one. The team’s haul of eight points sees them sitting seventh – four points behind early pacesetters Al-Akhdoud.
The team’s hierarchy will be hopeful that Mosimane will hastily turn around their fortunes as they desperately fight ...