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Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena leading candidate to succeed Da Rosa at Simba SC

12:33 EAT 01/11/2021
Rulani Mokwena of Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Wekundu wa Msimbazi have shortlisted four coaches for the vacant role and they have made it clear they want a coach from Africa

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena is among four coaches shortlisted to take charge at Tanzania champions Simba SC.

Goal can exclusively reveal the Wekundu wa Msimbazi have whittled down a list of 100 coaches who wanted to replace fired Didier Gomes Da Rosa to four and they are Mokwena, Serbian Milovan Cirkovic, former Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarusic, and ex-Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer.

Simba CEO Barbara Gonzalez has revealed why the 34-year-old South African coach, who currently handles the Brazilians as co-coach with Manqoba Mnqgithi and is the son of former Pirates player Julias Sono, and nephew to Jomo Sono, is the favourite to take charge of the local giants.

'Simba target African coach'

“Our target now is to hire an African coach and not from Europe, the issue of the coach does not need rushing, we know we don’t have a full-time coach now, but we are working on it,” Gonzalez told MwanaSpoti as quoted by Sokalabongo.

“We don’t want to rush [to get a new coach], you can get a coach with experience and a good CV but he will not be able to treat our problems and it means the problems [we still have] will remain and cannot be sorted, so that is why we don’t want to make a quick decision on the decision to hire a new coach.

“Whether he will be Rhulani [Mokwena] or someone else will be known in a short time, but the club's goal is to get a coach from Africa and not a white man like that.”

'We want a coach hungry for success'

For four consecutive seasons, Simba have had coaches from Europe - Patrick Aussems, Pierre Lechantre, Sven Vandenbroeck, and Da Rosa - and they have ended up winning the Mainland Premier League title.

Mokwena has served as an assistant manager at Sundowns and Pirates and in 2019, he became interim manager at Bucs, holding the position for five months, before being appointed as the head coach at Chippa United the following year, and then returned to the South African champions in his current capacity.

“We want a coach from Africa who has not achieved much or even if he has achieved he can suit in our system in a short period of time, we want a coach who will be hungry for success, a coach who will want to deliver and build his name, and a coach we will work with for long term plans with the club," Gonzalez continued.

“Take an example of Chelsea, when they hired Thomas [Tuchel], he was not popular and many thought he will fail at the club, but he has gone ahead to give them Uefa Champions League and also performed well, in a very short period of time.”

Simba fired Da Rosa after he failed to progress to the group stage of the Caf Champions League, when they lost on the away goal rule to Botswana outfit Jwaneng Galaxy following a 3-3 draw on aggregate.

After Simba, who had reached the quarter-finals last season, won the first leg meeting 2-0 in Gaborone, Galaxy avenged to beat the Wekundu wa Msimbazi 3-1 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium to progress.