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Mamelodi Sundowns players still give me the same respect – Mokwena

The Soweto-born mentor considers the club and the players his ‘family’ and he’s already looking to hit the ground running following his return

Former Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena has spoken about his return to Mamelodi Sundowns and the reception he received on his first training session with the club. 

The Soweto-born mentor linked up with the Brazilians in Rustenburg on Friday after receiving his test results for Covid-19. 

He rejoined the Tshwane giants as Pitso Mosimane’s assistant and he said the players showed him the same respect they did before he left for the Sea Robbers three years ago.  

“It was fantastic. A warm welcome; the coaches welcomed me very well, the sessions were very well organised, the players gave me the normal amount of respect that they gave me before I left,” Mokwena told the Sundowns media team.

The 35-year-old revealed he was excited to be received by players he’s familiar with and left at the club – some of which are Sundowns senior players. 

“Of course, seeing a lot of very familiar faces like Hlompho Kekana, Denis Onyango, Themba Zwane, Kennedy Mweene, it is always exciting because most of these players that are at Sundowns are people that I have got very good relations with,” he added. 

Mokwena feels Sundowns have got a family member in him in as much as he considers the club and the players his family. He is already looking forward to contributing positively toward the club’s success. 

“I left Mamelodi Sundowns knowing that they are not just players that I know, but they are family and they know that in me that they have got a family member for life because of the good relationship that we had and I am glad that when I left Sundowns, I could easily consider myself a good person and I would like to still consider myself a good person when I return.” 

“I think that for me, it has allowed me to really embrace this opportunity that I have been given,” he added.

Mokwena will work alongside Manqoba Mngqithi as Mosimane’s additional assistant just like in the good old days when Sundowns dominated the South African league and went on to conquer the continent. 

His presence in the Sundowns bench was valuable in Mosimane delivering the Caf Champions League trophy in 2016. 

And according to Mosimane, Mokwena’s return presents the club with a chance to add another continental crown to their trophy cabinet. 

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