Sundowns confirm Mokwena return

Rulani Mokwena. Pic: BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns have confirmed that Rulani Mokwena is coming back to Masandawana as an assistant coach, where he will revive his previously fruitful partnership with Masandawana head coach Pitso Moismane.

Sudowns confirmed on Wednesday that Mokwena will join them at their training camp camp at the Royal Marang Hotel and Sports Complex in Rustenburg, pending the result of a COVID-19 test.

“Former Mamelodi Sundown assistant coach, Rulani Mokwena, is expected to re-join the Chloorkop side in the same capacity, having parted ways with the club back in 2017 to join arch rivals Orlando Pirates,” read a Sundowns statement.

“Mokwena will travel to Rustenburg to join the Brazilians in camp as soon as he has received the results for his COVID-19 test. If everything goes according to plan, he will join the team by the end of this week. The experienced Mokwena spent more than 3 years with Sundowns before embarking on a journey to coach some of the most competitive sides in the PSL. He also took the time to capacitate himself by travelling to Europe to study at the current EPL Champions, Liverpool.

“The President of Mamelodi Sundowns, Dr. Patrice Motsepe welcomed Mokwena back home to the Mamelodi Sundowns family as the Club looks to reinforce the Technical team as they continue to aspire to dominate in the CAF Champions League to earn the 2nd star for the Club and beyond. Mokwena will add a new dimension to our already accomplished technical team and will make a valuable contribution to Sundowns.”

Mokwena was with Sundowns between 2014 and 2017, helping them to win the 2015 Nedbank Cup, the 2015/16 Absa Premiership title  and the 2016 Caf Champions League.

He left in 2017 to join Orlando Pirates, the club his family had such strong ties to, as an assistant coach to Milutin Sredojevic. Despite some excellent displays under Sredojevic, with the Buccaneers championship contenders in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons, Pirates failed to win a trophy under Sredojevic, and were sent into chaos when he suddenly upped and left at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.

This left Mokwena as interim head coach but he endured a dismal spell in his first job as a head coach, replaced in December by Josef Zinnbauer, who almost immediately revived Pirates’ fortunes. Mokwena cut an increasingly disgruntled figure on the Pirates bench, and eventually signed on at Chippa United as a head coach,  on loan from Pirates but that was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Chippa eventually decided against keeping his services.

With his Pirates contract up on June 30, Mokwena has now come full circle, and will now hope to help Sundowns haul in Kaizer Chiefs and win the 2019/20 Absa Premiership title, while they are also in the running for the 2020 Nedbank Cup.


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