Soweto Derby news: Rhulani Mokwena unconvinced over Leonardo Castro's availability for Kaizer Chiefs
Posted: 23 October 2018 Time: 13:00
Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena got involved in an interesting exchange over the availability of Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro for this weekend’s Soweto Derby.
Mokwena was addressing the media at a club press conference on Monday, in the build-up to Saturday’s much-anticipated clash between the Soweto rivals.
With Chiefs now boasting the strike duo once famed for tormenting opposition defences for Mamelodi Sundowns, Mokwena is well aware of the threat the combination of Billiat and Castro could pose.
However, having been familiar with both of them during his own spell at Chloorkop, Mokwena is convinced there will be no such threat at FNB Stadium come Saturday due to the Colombian's reported ankle injury.
“In this match it won’t be too important because Castro is injured. Unless there’s a miraculous recovery. Knowing him from Sundowns, when Castro says he’s injured, believe you me Castro is injured,” said Mokwena.
“And he will tell you as the coach that, ‘I am injured!’ In fact, Castro will even go as far as booking a flight to Colombia to spend time with his wife when he is injured, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Castro is not in the country [right now].”
Despite being informed that Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas earlier confirmed that the 29-year-old centre-forward would begin training on Monday, Mokwena remained unconvinced of his presence in South Africa.
“He starts training today? And he arrives when? He’s in the country? Is the wife in the country?” he quizzed, before entertaining the possibility that he could well feature this weekend.
“Okay, I know Castro very well. I know the pressures Castro has to deal with on a day-to-day basis. And, obviously, to face a Castro that has been out for the last couple of months is also a big risk for Kaizer Chiefs at the same time, because of his condition.
“If they have him, good luck to them. He brings a different dimension, he’s got the synergy with Khama Billiat and obviously makes their attack a lot stronger. But I’ll speak to you after the match about Castro.”