'I don’t need trophies, Pirates do'


Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena says he doesn’t need a trophy to validate his position as a head coach but is aware of the club’s need to end their drought.

Mokwena arrived at the PSL offices amid a marathon of press conferences ahead of this weekend’s Telkom Knockout action, as he stands a chance to win his first ever trophy.

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The 32-year-old tactician, who is in his first head coaching job after earlier serving as an assistant, is enduring a tough start to life in the hot seat as Pirates find themselves in eighth spot on the league table after being eliminated from the MTN8 and CAF Champions League at the first hurdles.

Though success in football is measured by the number of trophies and accolades won, the budding coach has insisted he has no personal need for silverware but ending the club’s drought is of foremost importance.

“I need air to breathe, Pirates needs trophies. And we know about our drought – we’re aware of it being seven years,” said Mokwena, discounting the club’s cup titles since winning the Absa Premiership title back in 2012.

“Seven is a symbolic number in the Bible, and if you go into the Bible, you’ll know how many times the number seven is mentioned.

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“We’re aware that we’ve gone through this seven-year drought, which started before and it will continue even if it’s not [ended] with me.

“So, it’s not about me but the club, and the most important thing if for us to serve the club and make sure that we do our utmost best to stop this drought.

“A club of Orlando Pirates’ magnitude is a club that deserves to be winning trophies week-in, week-out; season-in and season-out and competing for championships and trophies.

“That is the responsibility that comes with being at Pirates. I don’t need the trophies; the club needs the trophies, and that’s the most important thing.

“Our job is to serve and make sure that we do the best we can to fulfil the expectations [of the club] – number one, and number two is to make sure we make our people happy because our people deserve that.

“We were once known as the ‘Happy People’ and we’d like to be known as the Happy People once again.”

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