The Soweto Derby is known for turning friends into enemies, but that ends soon after the final whistle on match day, and Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela as well as Orlando Pirates assistant Rhulani Mokwena are no different.
Mokwena says he had to cut down communication when it comes to such games because there are emotions involved.
The Bucs assistant coach was speaking ahead of the Soweto Derby match which will take place at the FNB Stadium this weekend, saying it is also important for coaches to control their emotions.
Mokwena came through the coaching ranks after he was promoted by Komphela from the Platinum Stars U19 team many years ago.
He went on to become Pitso Mosimane’s right hand man at Mamelodi Sundowns as they lifted the 2016 Caf Champions League before joining the Buccaneers before the start of the current campaign.
“I go back a long way with Steve Komphela and I have learnt a lot from him. We engage constantly about football and the state of where it’s going,” said Mokwena.
“He is a coach that believes in giving chances and he has played a huge role in my career thus far. When you talk about trying to provide players with emotional stability, we also have to be emotionally stable as coaches,” adds the coach.
“One of the important things is to try and cut communication lines because if you continuously speak to people you are close to, who you are going to come up against, you can infect each other with a bit more attachment. That’s not what you want at this point in time,” he said.
Mokwena has not only minimised communication with the former Free State Stars mentor, but he has blocked the former Bafana Bafana skipper on his phone.
“I have however, blocked him from my phone for the next week because we are still rivals. All the links and ties are removed because we are professionals and true to our core of wanting to win,” revealed Mokwena.
“He is a super professional and a friend. Even in my discussion ahead of coming to Pirates, I had offers for head coach positions in the PSL and he played a part in my decision to come here,” noted Mokwena.