Rhulani Mokwena on Orlando Pirates' CAF calling
Posted: 7 March 2018 Time: 13:30
Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena says the 1995 African champions feel the calling of the Champions League.
Pirates can qualify for the event if they finish in the top two in the Absa Premiership this season.
Bucs are currently second on the table, four points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns with seven matches left.
Mokwena, who aided Pitso Mosimane when Downs won the Champions League in 2016, has a strong desire to compete in Africa.
“The history of Orlando Pirates on the African continent already dictates that there is a responsibility and some form of calling that draws you towards the African continent,” Mokwena says.
“Even with my previous travels on to the continent with Mamelodi Sundowns, when you arrive people will ask you about Orlando Pirates.
“And already that shows you the magnitude of the club. That therefore says to you that you got a responsibility, first to be competitive in the domestic league. You have to make sure that once again you are one of the teams that competes for the title; one of the teams that continues to qualify and compete on the African continent. But that comes from being part of Orlando Pirates.”
Mokwena says it goes without saying at Mayfair that Bucs must reassert themselves on the continental stage.
“It is not even a mandate, it is an unwritten responsibility that once you are part of this club you have a responsibility to look after the badge that is entrenched deeply in the roots of the African continent, because of it being the first club to win the Champions League from South Africa,” Mokwena adds.
“That prestige gives the calling and we have to respond to that. It will take a bit of time like we say, we are patient, we are people of process and we are focused.
“We know that it is a responsibility to be back on the continent,” concludes the second-in-command to Milutin Sredojevic.
A third-place finish in the league or a Nedbank Cup triumph earns entry to the second-tier Confederation Cup.