Sundowns confirmed this week that Mokwena was returning as an assistant to head coach Pitso Mosimane, a role he already served between 2014 and 2017, winning Absa Premiership titles, a Nedbank Cup and the Caf Champions League in 2016.
After a stint as an assistant coach and interim head coach at Orlando Pirates, Mokwena was briefly loaned to Chippa United, but the COVID-19 pandemic intervened and Chippa opted not to keep Mokwena, while his contract at Pirates expired on June 30.
He joined up with teammates old and new at Masandawana this week at their base at the Royal Marang Hotel and said: “It felt normal in the sense that this is where I have family members.
“It is only temporarily that we were distanced from each other, for a couple of years, but I have come back into a very familiar environment, with familiar faces. They have continued to keep the ethos here of professionalism and hard work (bringing) success, and the drive to be …. the number one club not only in South Africa but on the African continent.
“I have to take the opportunity to thank the president (Patrice Motsepe) who has always been a father figure and someone who has always maintained good relations with me, even when I left. Also head coach Pitso (Mosimane) has taught me so much with regard to what it is to become a good coach and continued to demonstrate those qualities by winning trophies and dominating South African football.”
Having already been involved in his first training session back at Sundowns, Mokwena added: “The coaches welcomed me very well, the players gave me the normal amount of respect that they gave me before I left. There are a lot of familiar faces, Hlompho Kekana, Themba Zwane, Denis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene. That is always exciting because most of these players at Sundowns I people I already have very good relations with. They are family and the know in me they have a family member for life.”