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HomeDStv PremiershipMaema Clears Air On Rulani And Lack Of Game Time

Maema Clears Air On Rulani And Lack Of Game Time

Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker Neo Neama has dispelled the notion that a fallout with head coach Rulani Mokwena was the reason for his reduced game time.

Maema was a key figure in his first two season at Sundowns making 75 appearances, with 11 goals and 12 assists to his name and knocking on the door of the national team.

However, the 2023/24 season, saw him out of the squad for nine consecutive league games after returning from a foot injury and he made just eight league starts overall as he struggled to regain the form that made him one of the key figures in Mokwena’s squad.

“When you come to a big club you come to a space of competitiveness and this is mainly the situation you find yourself in when you come to a big team but then it’s a situation that makes you stronger,” Maema said.

“Not only as a footballer but as a man, we’re growing, I took [the lack of game time] as it comes and yeah I know that there was a lot of speculation between what was the reason between me and the coach, nothing was going on.

“It was just me trying to make sure I compete, I was off form, it wasn’t a secret and yeah I’ve been trying to get myself slowly back to where my performances, of where I was. Credit must go to the players that have been performing, I have been supporting them and being a very good teammate.

“That’s what happens at a big club, season in, season out, you won’t get to be as happy with all your performances, obviously you will have some bad days but it doesn’t mean I’m a bad player, no.”

Maema will be aiming to help Sundowns secured a treble to end the season when they take on Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday at Mbombela Stadium.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.
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