Mok­wena could be headed for Buc­ca­neers

CityPress - - Sport - KGOMOTSO SETHUSHA sports@city­press.co.za

Highly rated Mamelodi Sun­downs as­sis­tant coach Rhu­lani Mok­wena may find it hard to re­sist over­tures from Or­lando Pi­rates.

Hav­ing ap­pointed Mi­lutin “Mi­cho” Sre­do­je­vić, this news­pa­per has it on good author­ity that the Buc­ca­neers have now ear­marked Mok­wena for a key po­si­tion on the tech­ni­cal team.

Mok­wena, one of the most promis­ing coaches in lo­cal foot­ball, has at­tracted the in­ter­est of the Soweto gi­ants with his work.

When asked for com­ment, Mok­wena would nei­ther con­firm nor deny that Pi­rates had made con­tact.

“At the mo­ment, it is very dif­fi­cult to com­ment. There is noth­ing con­crete at the mo­ment,” he said.

Pi­rates could not be reached for com­ment.

The club is ex­pected to an­nounce its new tech­ni­cal team be­fore the sea­son com­mences.

They un­veiled Sre­do­je­vić as a re­place­ment for Kjell Jonevret, whose six-month stint ended this week.

Mok­wena has en­joyed great suc­cess since he was el­e­vated to the se­nior Sun­downs team two sea­sons ago, and has been lauded for his acu­men as the team won a do­mes­tic cup dou­ble be­fore go­ing on to cap­ture the CAF Champions League. He is known to keep up with global coach­ing trends and share tips with some of the top Euro­pean coaches.

Bucs boss Irvin Khoza has em­pha­sised the need to re­build the team fol­low­ing a sea­son of un­der­achieve­ment.

Sit­ting along­side Khoza, Sre­do­je­vić (47) was in great spir­its dur­ing his first press con­fer­ence af­ter his re­turn as Pi­rates’ coach.

He shared his thoughts on the stan­dard of lo­cal foot­ball.

“The last time I was here, it was prior to 2010. I see the coun­try is now en­joy­ing the legacy of the World Cup,” said Sre­do­je­vić.

“In front of you is a dif­fer­ent coach to the one who was here be­fore.

“I had count­less of­fers from na­tional teams and clubs, but I’m here be­cause I love a chal­lenge. “I have been on an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney, a foot­ball study, in the 10 and a half years since I left Pi­rates.

“I be­lieve I gained enough ex­pe­ri­ence to help me reach the club’s am­bi­tions and my own per­sonal am­bi­tions. I live for pres­sure. I have been un­der pres­sure since I was born. I come from Yu­goslavia, where I’ve seen and felt ev­ery­thing. I don’t feel pres­sure. I can only prom­ise to give sweat, blood and tears.”

Sre­do­je­vić has cer­tainly earned his stripes in the past 10 years, boast­ing as many as four league ti­tles, two CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup semi­fi­nals, a CAF Champions League semi­fi­nal and qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the Africa Cup of Na­tions.

“I have made my name a brand name on the con­ti­nent,” said Sre­do­je­vić.

“If you don’t know what this means, then I in­vite you to come with me to any of the coun­tries where I have coached to see what I mean to the peo­ple,” he said.

That, how­ever, does not mean the Serb is obliv­i­ous to the enor­mous task ly­ing ahead for him.

“With a club of this mag­ni­tude, you can­not ask the sup­port­ers for pa­tience. We are run­ning against time and we need to work in that re­gard,” he ad­mit­ted.

PHOTO: THEMBA MAKOFANE

BUCCANEER? Mamelodi Sun­downs as­sis­tant coach Rhu­lani Mok­wena is re­port­edly be­ing lured by Or­lando Pi­rates

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