Don’t rob him! Give it to him – Steve Komphela on Coach of the Season

Johannesburg – Mamelodi Sundowns first-team coach Steve Komphela has said the coveted Coach of the Season award has only one deserving winner – Rhulani Mokwena.

The 55-year-old’s role at Masandawana was switched late last year from senior coach (which is now held by Manqoba Mnqithi) to his current slot working side-by-side with the current head coach Mokwena.

Komphela said if the final destination of the award is a consequence of success and achievements then there is no better man to take it home than Mokwena.

The 36-year-old former Orlando Pirates coach has taken the Brazilians to a different level since taking over in October, amassing 15 victories and two draws in the 17 games he’s been at the helm.

When quizzed about whether Mokwena deserved the Coach of the Season award, Komphela said: “Please, so be it, ningamrobhi (don’t rob him).

“Because there’s a tendency that things must be done based on certain circumstances, but he’s done a hell of a great job. Let’s be honest.

“And you can’t say whether they should give him or not, but if his work says give it to him, you have no option.”

The two coaches’ bond goes back well over a decade to when Komphela was still the head coach of the now-defunct Platinum Stars in the 2009/10 season.

Mokwena has never hidden that it was Komphela who handed him his first-ever top-flight training session while at Dikwena and they have since reconciled at Chloorkop, setting standards and breaking South African football records weekly.

Kompela revealed that it was back then that he and coach Alan Freese picked up on the Mokwena’s huge potential but he has since grown in leaps and bounds.

“He’s developed into a monster, he’s unbelievable and it’s beautiful to see genius thriving,” he said.

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“Even when we worked at Platinum Stars with Alan Freese, it was just clear beyond the hard work, the passion and it has gone to another level now.

“The guy is unbelievably intelligent, he is all brains, brains, brains,” said Komphela.

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“You can never get into coaching at such a young age without brains, he is a genius.

“Unfortunately in modern football it’s not only about the capability to do your job in being a great technician, but it’s also about managing the other dynamics around that and he has mastered that.”


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