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Mokwena Reflects On Emotional Exit From Sundowns

  • July 3, 2024
  • 3 min read
Mokwena Reflects On Emotional Exit From Sundowns

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena revealed the emotional toll his departure had on players’ families.

In an interview with Robert Marawa on MSW on Wednesday, Mokwena discussed how some players’ wives and children reacted poorly to the news.

He shared that some players’ families, including their wives and children, were upset by the news.

“I heard their dads were crying and I speak to their wives, just to try to calm them down, the wives start crying,” said Mokwena with MSW with Robert Marawa. 

Mokwena fostered close relationships with the players’ families, mentioning his connections with the sons of Grant Kekana, Aubrey Modiba, Teboho Mokoena, and Themba Zwane.

“From Tsitsi – Grant Kekana’s son, to Khumo – Aubrey Modiba’s son, to Lerumo – Teboho Mokoena’ son, to Sifiso – Themba Zwane’s son – I know their families, I know the wives, the kids, I played with these players’ kids, it’s incredible.  

“When they called me, some of them, to say thank you but also to ask what is happening, so it was very difficult and it has been difficult. But coaching is like this, you have to be able to take it. You have to win and I didn’t win the Champions League even though I am very proud of what we have done, and I know how difficult that competition is.”  

He expressed his difficulty with the situation, acknowledging the demanding nature of coaching.

“You have to win, and I didn’t win the CAF Champions League,” he admitted. “While I’m proud of our achievements, I understand how tough that competition is. At big clubs, winning is everything.”

Mokwena also revealed his regret over potentially misleading goalkeeper Ronwen Williams. Williams recently extended his contract with Sundowns under the impression that Mokwena would remain coach.

“That is one of the things that hurts me deeply and cut me deeply because it seems like I have gone back to my word and I’m not that person that is like that,” said Mokwena. 

“I don’t want to destroy relationships that mean a lot to me. Even Ronza, I know Ronza’s wife, I know Ronza’s kids, he just got a new born baby girl, I know his son, Trent. I call him Trent and that his nickname because he plays football. Sometimes when he comes to the changing room, he is kicking the ball, he criticizes his father worse than I do.”

Despite the emotional exit, Mokwena’s record at Sundowns is commendable. He secured two league titles and the African Football League during his tenure. Across 91 matches, he won 60, lost 9, and drew 22.

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