Rhulani told: 'Don’t get bitter, get better'


Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena has been offered advice on how to deal with the pressure by a coach who knows all about suffering abuse at a big club.

The young Mokwena, who earned the nickname 'Picasso' last week following his ill-advised metaphor about the Mona Lisa, is currently facing the toughest challenge in his coaching career.

After a poor run of form since taking over from Milutin Sredojevic, Pirates have now also lost two consecutive Soweto Derbies to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs, adding more weight to his shoulders as his record stands at played 13, won three.

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Mokwena threatened to go off the rails in his television interview straight after the league defeat, launching a spectacular diatribe about perceived "thuggish behaviour" from Amakhosi.

But a coach who has been there and done it before has offered some sage advice to Mokwena as he navigates the pitfalls of coaching.

"Coach Rhulani is in an environment where it's not easy, I know very well what he's going through," said Steve Komphela after Golden Arrows' midweek victory over Mamelodi Sundowns.

"It's not easy but we always talk. I tell him 'listen, focus, it's a great honour and privilege to be there, enjoy doing your job so that after two years you can say I was at Pirates and I enjoyed it'.

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"Akulalwa laphaya [You don't sleep there], if you sleep you are lucky. When I left the environment I was at [Kaizer Chiefs] I had grey hair. When I went there it was pitch black like coach Mandla [Ncikazi, laughs]. By the time I left I wasn't the same."

Komphela, who was at Chiefs for three years without winning anything despite reaching finals and finishing in the top eight, says that period helped him to grow as a coach and believes Mokwena is currently in that phase.

"So it tells you that growth, the greatest growth happens in discomfort. If you don't want to grow, be comfortable, but if you want to grow, get in the torture that is uncomfortable," advised the former school teacher.

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"I wouldn't be the person that I am when I went to Celtic had I not been through that. I wouldn't be that person I am at Arrows had I not gone through that.

"I never got bitter, but I got better so that others can benefit. I was in a pressure cooker [before] and now somebody is enjoying the meal. I'm being dished and who is enjoying it? Arrows. So be it. That's how I look at it."