Orlando Pirates announced on Tuesday that Rulani Mokwena will be taking up his old post as an assistant coach at Pirates, making way for German-born Josef Zinnbauer to take over the head coach position, which Mokwena occupied for about three months after the departure of Micho Sredojevic.
Mokwena’s ex-boss, Pitso Mosimane, has offered up some words of encouragement as he will be Zinnbauer’s right-hand man alongside Fadlu Davids.
“I am happy that he fulfilled his dream to coach Orlando Pirates because he spoke to me and said ‘I want to coach Pirates and as long as I am sitting here next to you, I am going to be behind you all the time, I need to fly’.
“I said fly my boy. Go for it because you never know [what might happen]. I was also a coach at SuperSport United and I think I was 33 or 34 years old when I was swimming with the sharks, the Gordon Igesunds, Clive Barkers… you can name them all,” said Mosimane.
“He has achieved his dream and vision but it is never the end, he remains a good coach, he is one of the good coaches I have worked with and I have said it before that I think he is going to be better than me and I still believe that he is going to be better than me, he needs time to do that and there is enough time.”
Mosimane said his former understudy had the time and opportunity to still build up his coaching career as he was still aged 34 and had not coached a full season in the top-flight yet.
“I was a coach at SuperSport for seven years in the Premier League and I went to [Bafana Bafana] to be an assistant for five years, so there is nothing wrong if he can be an assistant again. Those are the words of encouragement from me to him. I will give him a call and find out how he feels. I will always advise him as a brother that he still has a space in South African football.
“There are coaches who have been here for a very long time and won one trophy in 11 years, so he must come back because he has a chance. It might not be now but he has an opportunity and time is on his side. He is going to learn more because when you are not hands-on and you are in the background, you learn and improve, you can do other things behind the scenes and the pressure is not on you. He is a good coach.”