Coaching success has nothing to with previous experience, insists Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena

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The Buccaneers’ highly-rated tactician is a true inspiration to young aspiring coaches

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena believes that coaching success has nothing to with previous experience.

There's a notion that one can only be a successful football coach if they have played professional football.

However, the 32-year-old Mokwena, who is one of the youngest coaches in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), looks destined to prove this notion wrong.

The Soweto-born tactican began his coaching career at Platinum Stars where he worked as Steve Komphela's assistant in 2009. 

He joined Mamelodi Sundowns as one of the youth academy coaches in 2011 and then was promoted over the years until he became the 2nd assistant to coach Pitso Mosimane.

Mokwena explained that he had to fight for his dreams in order reach the highest level of South African football. 

"Passion is everything. You must fight for your dreams and stay focused,” Mokwena told SowetanLive.

Mokwena was part of the Sundowns technical team that made history by guiding the Tshwane giants to the 2016 Caf Champions League final where the team defeated Egyptian giants Zamalek

Brazilians also won the 2015 Nedbank Cup, 2015 Telkom Knockout Cup, 2015/16 PSL titles with Mokwena serving as one of Mosimane’s two assistants. 

Pirates snapped up Mokwena from Sundowns prior to the start of the 2017/18 season and he is now working under Serbian tactician Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.

“As the youth of today, we must take ourselves as servants,” the highly-rated tactician continued.

“Coaching gives you a great opportunity to make a difference in your community. It's a big responsibility,” he concluded.

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Mokwena and Sredojevic were praised for transforming Pirates into PSL title contenders last season and ensured that the Soweto giants qualify for next year's Caf Champions League.

The promising coach received a call-up to the Bafana Bafana technical team last March ahead of the inaugural Four-Nation tournament in Zambia.

However, he missed out on the opportunity to represent the nation after the South Africa Football Association (Safa) failed to communicate with Pirates over the call up. 

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