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Rulani Makes Huge Pirates Admission

Rulani Mokwena has made a huge admission about his time at Orlando Pirates.

The now Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach took over from Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic in August 2019, becoming the club’s first black South African manager in history.

However, his stint in the Buccaneers dugout only lasted 14 games of which he won four, drew five and lost five.

Mokwena now opened up on his stint at Pirates, calling it the hardest moment of his coaching career so far.

“I think the hardest part of my coaching career was when I took over from Milutin Sredojevic,” he said in an interview with the Short Corners podcast.

“It was a Friday afternoon when I was told the coach had resigned and Saturday afternoon, 24 hours later, not even to be honest, we didn’t have a training session with the team, we couldn’t prepare the group and we went into a match to play Highlands Park, which we then subsequently lost.

“That, for me was the most difficult. When you understand that, one you are handicapped, you were never a professional football player, you are black (then) you move in a space where you are extremely handicapped.

“But we take these lessons as part of our growth and of course being the first black head coach of Pirates in a situation where we only think about the lessons and the take-outs and allowing it to shape us not just become better coaches because that’s what it’s helped me with, but also becoming better human being and that is the space where I find myself in at the moment.

“It’s because of the life lessons and not just the life lessons but also the football lessons I got from being at Orlando Pirates in a very difficult space. You continue to run the race with all these handicaps, where age is already a factor, the colour of your skin is already a factor and the fact that I was never a professional footballer is already a factor.

“Of course a lot of former professionals and top professionals sometimes have the benefit of relying on their success as football players to be able to assist them with the performance of the team.”

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