Rulani Confirms Keepers’ Future

Sinethemba Makonco
June 23, 2022

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has opened up on Ishmael Watenga after his loan stints at Chippa United.

Mokwena confirmed that the Uganda international is still a Sundowns player and he was sent on loan so that he can get more game time as Dennis Onyango, Kennedy Mweene, Riyaad Petersen, and Ricardo Goss were all ahead of him in the pecking order.

The 27-year-old spent two seasons at Chippa after he arrived at the club at the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign and managed to make 14 appearances and keep seven clean sheets – helping the club to keep retain their DStv Premiership status.

The following campaign of 2021/22 proimsed more but he only managed to make ten appearances, conceding 15 goals and keeping three clean sheets.

Mokwena said that the very same thing happened to Onyango after he was loaned several times before becoming Sundowns’ number one.

“We like Watenga so much and we have tried to invest in him. We sent him out to Chippa to get more playing time,” Mokwena told Football256. “He started reasonably well but unfortunately, he did not get much playing time towards the end but I believe that was due to the change of coaches at Chippa which disturbed his momentum a little bit.

“Watenga is a very good goalkeeper with very good attributes, his agility is excellent, his speed and shot-stopping are very good and maybe he only needs to improve when it comes to build-up play.”

“As far as Onyango is concerned it took him time to stamp his position at Mamelodi.

“We all remember that he went to Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits on loan before he came back and became Sundowns’ number one goalkeeper.

“He came back and he has been very successful and maybe Watenga’s success lies in the journey of Onyango and he will need to pick up a little bit more from what Onyango went through.”

 

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