Komphela – ‘Genius’ Rulani Has Turned Into A Monster

Mamelodi Sundowns First Team Coach Steve Komphela has hailed Head Coach Rulani Mokwena as a “genius who’s developed into a monster”.

Mokwena took over as sole head coach of Sundowns in October last year in a coaching reshuffle that saw Komphela named as First Team Coach and Manqoba Mngqithi redeployed as the Senior Coach within the technical team.

His first 18 games has seen Sundowns secure 16 wins, two draws, with 41 goals scored and only 11 conceded with a brand of football not seen in South Africa, or Africa before.

Mowkena often stated he takes inspiration from the elite level of Pep Guardiola, Roberto De Zebri, and others to form part of his own coaching vision and it’s become evident in the remarkable build-up schemes seen over the past few months in charge.

And this has been achieved within a star-studded squad and technical team, which invariably, would be susceptible to off-the-field issues that need to be dealt with along with challenging for every title on offer.

“First of all the guy is unbelievably intelligent, he is brains, brains, brains, you never get into coaching and succeed at a young age without brains, he’s a genius,” Komphela said about Mokwena at the Nedbank Cup quarter-final draw.

“Unfortunately, modern management is not only about the capability to do your job to be a great technician, but managing the rest of the dynamics around you – and one friend of mine, Roger de Sa once said. 90% of our earnings, 90% of what a coach earns is about everything that happens around and only 10% is about what they do on the pitch.

“And I think coach Rulani has mastered that, he’s very calm, calculated, he sees things in time, the wisdom and ability to respond appropriately, make no mistake it is not easy to be a head coach at Sundowns, in fact, any big team, but managing that is one of the primary objectives.

“You have to be very careful because whatever you say goes, and unfortunately in [the] modern world, what you say, gone – if you want to rectify, it gets even worse, so you gotta be careful what you say, think about it before you say it and he’s mastered that.”

Komphela first worked with Mokwena during their time at the now-defunct Platinum Stars but the veteran tactician admits the ‘Dikwena Mokwena’ and the ‘Sundowns Mokwena’ are simply chalk and cheese in the manner of which he’s developed over the past decade.

“That’s way back, he’s developed into a monster, he’s unbelievable and it’s beautiful to see genius thriving, and I don’t want to start putting stories that after two, three weeks and then it comes out that I said this yesterday,” Komphela added.

“But [the] fact remains, he’s genius, and even when we worked together at Platinum Stars, with Alan Freese, it was just clear and beyond anything, the hard work, the passion has just gone to another level, it’s amazing.”

Sundowns return to action on Tuesday, when they host Royal AM at Loftus Versfeld Stadium at 19:30. A win would take them 20 points clear of second-place SuperSport United.

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