Rulani Reveals His 'Biggest Plea' To Downs Leaders

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena  during the Carling Black Label Cup. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena during the Carling Black Label Cup. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes at the club after the restructuring of the technical team. 

Sundowns conducted internal structuring of the bench, with Mokwena elevated to a sole head coach, following the team's defeat to Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 semi-finals. 

Read: Why Downs Coaches Will Have 'Upper Hand'

Manqoba Mngqithi, who previously shared the co-coach title with Mokwena was demoted to being a senior coach, with Steve Komphela named assistant coach. Mokwena has had a storming start in charge as the head coach after Sundowns thrashed Maritzburg United 5-0 and Royal AM 3-0 in the league before the FIFA World Cup break.

The Brazilians continued to impress under the leadership of the young tactician in the Carling Black Label tournament, as they beat AmaZulu 3-0 in the semi-final and hammered Orlando Pirates 4-0 in the final.   

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Mokwena has revealed the mood in the camp prior to his first game against the Team of Choice and has expressed gratitude towards club Sporting Director Flemming Berg and Chairman Tlhopie Motsepe for their support. 

"I really need to give incredible plaudits and gratitude, not just to Flemming Berg, who assisted in giving clarity but also to the Club Chairman, Tlhopie Motsepe," Mokwena said in the latest edition of Sundowns Magazine

"Before the first match, the Chairman offered a heartfelt prayer which gave me the energy to be brave and lead from the front during a moment of uncertainty at the club. 

"Being a spiritual person myself, I was touched by Thlopie’s prayer and could feel the connection galvanized by his energy."  

Read: Downs To Get Another Goal-Machine Boost Post World Cup?

The erudite mentor went on to explain what leadership changes he made leading up to the game against the Team of Choice. 

"After downloading videos of the last five games that we played, we were stuck trying to find a solution for achieving better results," he revealed.

"While analysing the games, I made notes about the individual players and spent most of the matchday against Maritzburg United having one-on-one discussions with each player. 

"I intended to ensure that there was clarity and calmness among the players. Furthermore, I had a conversation with the team’s leadership namely; Andile Jali, Mosa Lebusa, Themba Zwane and Denis Onyango to reassure them that it’s still 'business as usual'. 

"My biggest plea to them was that we have to revive the team to its former glory. We must go back to being a team that plays with energy, aggression and the mad-dog mentality of not giving up," he added.

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