Rulani can bounce back – Mosimane

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Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane described as ‘sad’ Rulani Mokwena’s short-lived tenure at the helm of Orlando Pirates.

Mokwena had assumed the role of head coach at Pirates following Milutin Sredojevic’s departure in August this year but his reign was brought to cessation when the Buccaneers announced that German coach Josef Zinnbauer will take over from Mokwena, under whose tutelage Pirates didn’t garner the desired results.

With Mokwena in charge, Pirates managed four wins, six draws and five losses from 15 matches. Mosimane feels his former assistant coach at Sundowns needed time to live up to his potential.

“Ja, it’s sad. Up and coming, I have always said that Rulani is going to be better than me. He needed time (as Pirates head coach). Unfortunately he didn’t have enough time,” said Mosimane.

“By the way, it’s a bit difficult because the results were not really helping him to turn it around, to show his potential. He is at a high level. He is at Pirates,” Mosimane told FARPost.co.za.

Mokwena was touted as one of the most enterprising stars on the local coaching scene. His impressive reading of the game and tactical acumen came into spotlight as an understudy to both Mosimane and Sredojevic at Downs and Bucs respectively. However Mokwena’s subsequent return to assistant coach position might be viewed as a step back but Mosimane says it’s not all doom and gloom for the 34-year-old.

“It’s okay. The future is bright for Rulani. He is still young. He has got enough time. It’s just that I don’t know how he is going to deal with it as an assistant but I hope he is a big boy and he understands that he still has enough time. I was also head coach at SuperSport United and then I became assistant at Bafana Bafana. He must just take it like that and look where we are now.

“So we bounce back. He can bounce back,” said Mosimane.

Mosimane has been advocating for local coaches. When Benni McCarthy got fired by Cape Town City, the former Bafana Bafana coach took to Twitter to express his shock and sadness. Mosimane has also hailed Polokwane City’s recent appointment of Clinton Larsen.

“It’s not about Rulani, it’s me talking on behalf of local coaches. Somebody says let’s hear now the president of local coaches, Pitso. What is he going to say? It’s sad to lose another local guy again but I am happy that Clinton Larsen came back and he is back in the fold,” said the man nicknamed Jingles.

By Hosea Ramphekwa

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