- Mailula has been a hit at Downs
- Interest in youngster has grown
- Mokwena underlines importance of protection
WHAT HAPPENED: Mokwena has insisted he will have to do his best to protect youngster Mailula from harmful exposure.
The 36-year-old tactician insists fame can negatively impact the player's development and his main target is to help Mailula realise his potential.
Percy Tau, the late Motjeka Madisha and Sphelele Mkhulise are some of the players who showed potential at an early age, but were shielded well which positively impacted their careers.
Mokwena insists that is what he wants to achieve with the Downs' youngster.
WHAT HE SAID: "[Mailula] has a lot of potential. I am very protective of the younger ones because I have seen it in SA before many times where it is called the curse of a rising star," Mokwena said as quoted by Sowetan.
"You see a shooting star and just before you make a wish, it disappears. So I am very, very cautious about the young ones and I always plead for patience, so I can put them in a play where you don't give them attention or too much of the limelight.
"If they have an environment very similar to how Percy [Tau] had not a lot of glitz and glam, the late Madisha not a lot of glitz and glam, Mkhulise, they came through the ranks and when he needed the shine he got it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mailula has been effective for Downs despite making his debut this season.
The 21-year-old has managed to play 11 Premier Soccer League matches and scored six goals while creating three in the process.
Mailula has also scored three goals in the Caf Champions League - despite making a single appearance.
His latest strike was on Saturday' despite coming from the bench' to help Masandawana claim a 2-0 win against Sekhukhune United.
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WHAT NEXT: Mailula might get a run on Saturday when Sundowns play the in-form Orlando Pirates.