News Live Scores
Orlando Pirates

​Orlando Pirates: Rulani can be as good as Mosimane but he still has a long way to go

1:07 AM IST 10/09/19
Pitso Mosimane Bongani Zungu and Rulani Mokwena - Sundown
Mokwena is yet to taste victory since taking over from Micho Sredojevic in August, but his club boss is confident he will be as good as Mosimane

Orlando Pirates chairman Dr. Irvin Khoza recently backed interim coach Rulani Mokwena to be as good as Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane. 

There's no doubt Mokwena has the qualities of being one of the best coaches in South Africa. He is still young and he's passionate about football.

At 34 years of age, Mokwena is gaining valuable experience in his young coaching career and he's certainly ahead of coaches his age in terms of experience and exposure. 

But he still has a long way to go before reaching the level of Mosimane, who started coaching at a professional level almost two decades ago. 

Mosimane spent seven years at SuperSport United before being recruited to be Carlos Alberto Parreira's understudy in the mid-2000s.

He spent six years with the South African national team - learning and enriching himself with knowledge, and while he was quickly fired as the head coach of Bafana Bafana, his recent success shows Safa was wrong to give him the boot. 

Mosimane's current success didn't happen overnight, but it's a continuation of a seed planted to his coaching career many years ago. 

Before being given the chance to work at Bafana Bafana, Mosimane had already turned Matsatsantsa into one of the strongest sides in the PSL - winning several trophies and reaching seven finals during his tenure.  

Mokwena was presented with an opportunity of a lifetime when Stuart Baxter called him up to Bafana Bafana because he saw some special in him, but he was denied that opportunity by Pirates, as he had just arrived at the Houghton-based club from Sundowns.

It was a rare opportunity for a coach as young as Rulani, but given how highly he is rated, there's still hope that he will again be afforded the chance to work at Bafana Bafana. 

But before then, he has to consider coaching a relatively smaller PSL with fewer expectations. This will help him become his own man, make his own mistakes and grow from them. 

If he does well, which many believe he would as a head coach, then he will get the chance to return to Pirates or go to any of the bigger clubs in the future. 

The success of Mokwena was celebrated way too early because he is yet to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he's ready to lead Pirates on a permanent basis.

The expectations from everyone are also too high, and this has added more pressure on him to perform at Pirates; something he hasn't been able to do so far.

Mokwena may tick all the right boxes of a great assistant coach, but as long as he's not tested then the country will not see his true potential as a coach, and what Khoza is hoping to see in him may never see the light of day if he doesn't allow his promising coach to grow elsewhere. 

Up next for Mokwena and Pirates is Chippa United this coming weekend, and after spending two weeks with the team, the Soweto giants will be expected to produce the goods, but all eyes will again be on the former Sundowns assistant coach to see whether he can be able to turn things around.