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HomeDStv PremiershipRulani Clarifies Sirino Situation

Rulani Clarifies Sirino Situation

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has finally clarified the situation around midfielder Gaston Sirino’s transfer drama when he wanted to leave the club two years ago.

The 33-year-old Uruguayan international made his intentions clear to seek a new challenge after reported interest from Egyptian giants Al Ahly to link up with his former mentor Pitso Mosimane.

Sirino told the club he wanted to leave and said there would be an offer from a new club, something that never transpired. Mokwena has since clarified how things have unfolded after the move fell through.

“As a coach, I have the unfortunate privilege to make decisions based on what I see every single day at training,” he said on Metro FM’s Sport Night Amplified With Andile Ncube.

“And for me, there’s just more to the game than the pass, the dribble, the things, and that’s not just for Gaston [Sirino], that’s for all the players at Mamelodi Sundowns. It’s the feeling of trust, it’s the feeling of investment, it’s the feeling of unprepared and prepared to leave.

“I come from a family that has invested so much in football. And I understand for an example that football is not just a game that is to be played without emotions.

“Unfortunately, because I have a late grandfather that died because he was on his way to Welkom and wanted to recruit one of the best players for Orlando Pirates at the time and he passed away mysteriously on the side of the road for football.

“I have an uncle who went overseas and was given a jersey by the greatest Pele who left his own wedding to go and help win the final. Those are my expectations from my players.

“That’s the depth of investment I expect from my players and when I don’t get that feeling, when I don’t get that sense to it is very, very difficult for me to play you in this team.”

Mokwena further expressed how difficult it was for him as coach to integrate Sirino back into the group after that unfortunate misunderstanding.

“What also doesn’t help is by nature as human beings is, if you express publicly (not once, not twice, not 3 times) but, and you can’t hold it against him unfortunately, or fortunately because he is also a very good person. He is someone I like a lot actually Gaston Sirino.

“But it’s difficult to get the best out of someone who doesn’t want to be there. And when someone publicly expresses for an example he wears an Al Ahly jersey twice, home and away, as I said to you for this club I love Sundowns and I make a lot of sacrifices. I demand a lot from myself for this club. I then place the same responsibility on the shoulders of these players.”

Asked why he didn’t let an unhappy player go, Mokwena responded.

“Well, I don’t run the club that way. I don’t have the autonomy and the power to make those type of decisions.

“It’s the decisions that are made in relation to, because there’s a lot of things, there’s contract, there’s the who wants him, there’s quite a lot of things. There’s the agent, there’s the club, there’s the player and a lot of things have to happen.

“And when someone says okay, I made a mistake. But now I want to stay, okay you forgive and you try to see but now you want to see a little bit more. You want to see a little bit more than you’ve seen before because you have to overcompensate. And it’s not just towards the coach, but it’s towards your teammates, because it’s your teammates that regain trust.

“The teammates need to know that all 11 of us are invested here.”

Despite the misunderstanding with Sirino, Mokwena also made mention of their new acquisition Matías Esquivel who is yet to nail a regular starting berth at the Chloorkop-based outfit.

“There were some very good moments. And it’s the same for everybody. It’s with [Matías] Esquivel for an example. People ask me when is he going to be ready to play and I tell them when I start to see him singing with the rest of the team in the change room.

“Before kickoff, when I start to see him in the Rondo laughing and smiling. And I see he’s inducted himself into the group. But also he’s been welcomed by the group, because when you go and you play these games against Al Ahly in Cairo and against Wydad in Casablanca, it takes a little bit more than just the tactics to win those type of games. There’s a there’s a sense of solidarity that needs to be there.”

Sirino racked up 24 appearances across all competitions last season, scoring five times and providing two assists.

iDiski Times
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