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FLEMMING BERG: THE SPORTING DIRECTOR ON HIS START AS A SANDAWANA Author: Dumisani KoyanaPhotos: Sundowns MediaFour months ago, Mamelodi Sundowns announced the highly experienced Flemming Berg as the club’s new Sporting Director.Flemming joined the club after holding the position of Head of Elite Football Development at the Danish Football Association for the past seven years.
His tenure saw numerous talented Danish players emerge across the best European leagues.
“It's been football from the first day I came to the office. I have watched games in the ABC Motsepe League, Academy level, Motsepe Foundation Championship and the DSTV Premiership. The main objective was to get accustomed with the game in South Africa as well as to understand the identity of the club. Thus far, it has been a great learning curve and I am gaining daily a clear understanding of the club's philosophy,” echoed Berg. The Sporting Director spoke on the reception he has received in South Africa since he joined The Brazilians.
“I have been well received in the country as the people have been very warm towards me. I have enjoyed every moment, since I landed in South Africa. Mamelodi Sundowns has an incredible organisational culture and my stay here has been enjoyable. South Africa is a great nation thanks to the bubbling culture, wonderful people and positive energy around.”
Another cardinal role for Berg is to ensure a clear pathway for Sundowns academy players to play for the first team or teams abroad. Thus far, Flemming has been enthralled with the club’s vibrant youth system.
“I am very happy with the way Mamelodi Sundowns have prioritised the development of youth football. Our Diski team has been impressive and we recently saw the exploits of the Under-18 team as they went all the way to the final with players between the ages of 15-17. These impressive performances from the youngsters further show that we are on the right track,” added Berg. Motsepe Foundation ChampionshipThe Sporting Director further stated his findings about South African football since he assumed his role.
“South Africa is a country that loves football and the supporters here are passionate about the game. Thus, there is a need to constantly seek new ways to make the game faster, more intense and more interesting for the fans. That is why I am excited about the academy system at Mamelodi Sundowns.”
Flemming also spoke about the beauty of South Africa and its wildlife, “South Africa is a beautiful country and I noticed that the first time I came here. My family and I had the opportunity to go on a Safari in Pilanesberg National Park and we saw the “Big Five” (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and African buffalo). Due to my hectic work schedule, I have not been able to embark on a sightseeing adventure, but I hope to explore more when the time is right,” Berg concluded. In Flemming, Mamelodi Sundowns have acquired one of the personalities who masterminded the recent ascension of Danish football. With his keen eye for spotting talent, Berg will be hoping to compliment Sundowns’ quest to become the best football club in Africa.