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HomeNedbank CupMofokeng Is A Role Model - He Won't Be The Last

Mofokeng Is A Role Model – He Won’t Be The Last

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Rivieiro says Relebohile Mofokeng was never a youngster they played to tick off a box and suggests more will follow him into the senior set-up.

Mofokeng, 19, has been one of the first names on the teamsheet this season after securing his professional breakthrough last campaign.

Having joined the club’s DStv Diski Challenge squad in mid-2022 from the School of Excellence, he spent just one year in the reserve team before his performances became hard to ignore.

Riveiro suggested he surpassed the level of his peers on a consistent basis, meaning he needed to be roped into the senior team set-up where he’s since floruished under the guidance of the Spaniard.

“I’m sure, it is, I know it is [an inspiration] for the boys, because it’s nice to talk about giving opportunities to the young players but I think I’ve spoken about it already, I don’t give opportunities, it’s not myself,” Riveiro said when asked about Mofokeng by iDiski Times.

“It’s me and the club, when we give opportunities, it’s not just like an opportunity, it’s trusting, we need to trust that it’s the right call because it’s easy to play young players for 10 minutes when you’re leading and then they’re in the record books.

“In the end, you can say you’re giving opportunities to the youngsters but when Rele came into the team, he came straight into the starting eleven, he played against Royal AM, one year ago, straight into the eleven, 80, 90 minutes.”

With three goals and four assists in 28 appearances so far this season, Riveiro admitted he could improve his numbers, but said the same goes for all the players in the squad as they generally look for collective success, rather than pinning hopes on individuals.

“We considered him prepared, it’s not only about talent, it’s not him being 100% ready, there will never be a moment with a youngster that you see, it’s now, now he’s 100%, there’s no 100% in football and even less with young players,” he continued.

“So you have to accept also, the mistakes, or the lack of whatever with this types of profiles, but he was doing since he started is proving that it was a good decision from the club to put our hopes in Rele and day by day he’s showing it’s the reality right now.

“And he’s not going to be the last one [from the DDC] that’s for sure, he’s an inspiration for the other boys in the DDC because we as a club, as a technical team, and players in the team, we’re not going to be the obstacle for them in their progression.

“It’s about them to want it, to really want it, to have the platform to play, it’s going to be there for them.”

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Mofokeng is likely to star once more in the Nedbank Cup on Saturday when Pirates travel to Moses Mabhida Stadium to face AmaZulu at 19h00.

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.