Rhulani Mokwena, Mamelodi SundownsBackpage

Mokwena ready to split Mamelodi Sundowns squad to face Petro de Luanda and TS Galaxy in one weekend

  • Sundowns might have to split their team
  • The club might withdraw from the AFL
  • They drew AmaZulu in the Carling Knockout Cup

WHAT HAPPENED: Mamelodi Sundowns find themselves at a crossroads with the Premier Soccer League, who are yet to give the club the green light to participate in the newly founded African Football League (AFL).

The Carling Cup was launched this week and Downs' AFL tie with Angolan side Petro de Luanda will overlap with their Carling Cup tie with TS Galaxy on the weekend of October 20-22.

Sundowns might be in a position where they are double booked and their head coach, Rhulani Mokwena has opened up about the possibility of splitting up his squad into two.

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WHAT WAS SAID: "I hope it doesn’t come to that, I hope it doesn’t and my hope is that we will always be able to put out the best team on the pitch and then, of course, to make sure all of us are available to assist and support the players over the 90 minutes," Mokwena told members of the media.

"We don’t train one team but the entire group to make sure that they understand the demands, style of play and schemes. We have to make sure we are ready for each and every game this season," Mokwena added.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: If push comes to shove, the big question will be: which competition will Mokwena pin high up on his list of priorities? That would be reflected in where key players like influential captain Themba Zwane, reigning PSL Footballer and Goalkeeper of the Season, Teboho Mokoena and Ronwen Williams, Peter Shalulile and players like Marcelo Allende and Ribeiro Costa will play.

WHAT'S NEXT: While Sundowns boasts one of the biggest squads in the PSL, Mokwena says he is able to manage his team and is able to field the majority of the players without trouble.

"Last season we gave everyone a chance to play and we had a squad of 36 I think and we played 35 players without any splits, that’s the group and the work we have to make sure each and every player is prepared," said Mokwena.

Downs are drawn with TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout Cup and are involved with African heavyweights, TP Mazembe, Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly in the AFL.