Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has shared their growing frustration with the Bafana Bafana technical team and medical department after some of the club's key players returned with injuries or fatigued from the recent national team camps.
Mokwena took a swipe at the national team and said their communication with them has been poor, insinuating they don’t even get an update on training schedules.
Sundowns were without the injured Rushine de Reuck and Mothobi Mvala when they played their CAF Champions League preliminary second round first leg against Maniema Union at Stade des Martyrs on Sunday, where they drew 2-2 without a few of their key players. Thabiso Kutumela was apparently fatigued.
“It's a very difficult situation with Bafana because we can't even communicate with the medical department,” Mokwena said. "We don't know the itinerary for Bafana. We don't know the training programme of Bafana. We don't get training feedback about the load. There's no data.
"So, the cooperation with Bafana frustrates us a little bit. As Sundowns, we are the first to always, over the years, show willingness to support the national team."
Mokwena added they have tried to accommodate Bafana more than other clubs in SA and even released several other members of the technical team to assist the national cause over the years.
"About the country's cause, the club has always put Bafana in certain moments ahead of its cause,” he said.
"It's a bit disappointing that even in the previous camp, Thapelo [Morena] returned injured. He's not back yet and we're still trying to get him back into the groove. We gave him a couple of minutes today [Sunday].
"Of course, he has returned to fitness, returned to training and playing, but at the moment, he still isn't in the right competitive shape to be ready.
"Then you have the situation of Mvala who is so important for us, particularly for this African sojourn and this assignment with his physicality. With also his ability to win aerial duels and his ability to control and give us a bit more competitiveness in midfield.
"Then he comes back from Bafana and he's injured, you know, then also De Reuck in our previous match against Swallows doesn't finish the game as a precautionary measure due to a muscular complication. He continues to play for Bafana. Kutumela also comes back and he's jaded and is overloaded and comes back and struggles with his performance."
Sundowns will look to continue with their dominance in the PSL when they visit Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium tomorrow (3.30pm).