Johannesburg - Dutch defender Alje Schut says winning the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with Mamelodi Sundowns is the stand-alone highlight of his 15-year career.
The Brazilians ended a six year wait for silverware and were crowned league champions at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday evening, beating SuperSport United 3-0 to ease to the title with a game to spare.
“Obviously, it's at the top of my list. I won two cups in Holland and for my team (Sundowns), it was the maximum we could get,” a delighted Schut said after the game.
“So it’s up there with the best. It’s amazing for me at the end of my career, that I can still win the league and hopefully I can add another one next year.”
Schut captained Sundowns for the majority of the season and was only replaced when he was injured. Together with coach Pitso Mosimane, he led Sundowns to their first trophy since 2008, when Downs lifted the Nedbank Cup under Trott Moloto.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Schut added.
“I’m very happy and very proud of my boys. I think we deserve it and it was worth the challenge.
“We won the last 10 games - it didn’t matter what Kaizer Chiefs did, we just focused on the best we could do and if the best was not good enough then okay. But the best was good enough.”
After 13 seasons playing in the Netherlands’ top league, the Eredivisie, Schut left his only other club - FC Utrecht - and moved to Sundowns in 2012, where he has flourished under Mosimane.
“I came here for some adventure and I was rewarded with the league so I’m very happy,” Schut said.
“The coach made it very clear which system he wanted to play and what he asked from us.
“He asked for total dedication and we put in so much hard work behind the scenes. You wouldn’t believe what we did during the week to get to the game and how we analysed our opponents and what we put in.”
The 33-year-old revealed his delight that he and his wife were expecting the arrival of their first child in less than a month, adding that his father was present at the stadium to see Sundowns’ triumph.
“He came for this game because my wife is giving birth in two or three weeks.
“It’s a nice bonus that he was here to see this game."