New Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic lauds qualities of assistant Rulani Mokwena
Posted: 18 August 2017 Time: 14:31
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says he ranks Rulani Mokwena amongst the top upcoming coaches on the continent and believes he is a perfect fit at the Soweto giants.
Mokwena was unveiled as Sredojevic’s assistant coach this month and heads to the club he holds close to his heart after his grandfather Eric Sono, father Julius Sono and uncle Jomo Sono were all once involved with in years gone by.
“When talking about Rulani, I talk about a person who has been to 51 out of 55 African football countries,” said Sredojevic.
Mokwena travelled through most of the length and width of the continent in his time with Mamelodi Sundowns.
“As a searcher, he [Mokwena] knows when the ball is kicked in Botola Pro in Morocco or PSL in South Africa from up to down [on the African map]. As a searcher, I have to tell you that in my personal judgment: commitment, dedication, passion that I have seen in Rulani Mokwena is something to me that I have rarely met."
“I regard him in the top five of the African upcoming coaches because I know all of them that are in his age and his line of bright future. As a searcher, I would say he has come here for two aspects, aspect one being that this club is in his blood.
“I recently cried when there was an introduction when he told me that in 1995 when the Champions League open bus moved in Soweto they stopped in front of his house. He was a small boy whose dream has come true now as a man. He is no longer a small boy now but a big man. He has come to give his contribution. This is an out-of-football aspect,” says the Serbian while then weighing in with his thoughts about Mokwena’s astuteness in the game.
He adds: “In a footballing aspect, he has all the expertise and experience that he got working with the reigning best coach in Africa and my big brother for the last 15 years, Pitso Mosimane.
“He is an asset and I expect top class co-operation for the good of this great club that we are working together because both of us have taken the scissors to cut out the past. We are in the present looking for a bright future.”
Mokwena will sit next to Sredojevic on Saturday evening as the Bucs open up the new campaign with a date against Chippa United at Orlando Stadium.