Experience is not always the best coach

Rulani Mokwena feels coaching success has nothing to with previous experience - he's never played professional football.
Rulani Mokwena feels coaching success has nothing to with previous experience - he's never played professional football.
Image: Gallo Images

There's this widely held notion that to be a successful football coach, you must have played professional football.

But two of SA's youngest coaches, Thabo Senong, 37, and Rulani Mokwena, 32, have flown in the face of this perception.

SA Under-20 coach Senong has already achieved great things. He guided Amajita to the U-20 World Cup last year, and has steered the junior national side to numerous Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Mokwena is currently Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic's assistant at Orlando Pirates.

The Soweto-born coaching wizard was Pitso Mosimane's deputy when Mamelodi Sundowns clinched the CAF Champions League in 2016.

"Today's youth should be aware that anything is possible in life. Life requires focus, passion and dedication," Senong said.

"My favourite quote in life is 'nothing great in life has been achieved without passion' [by German philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich]. You must be stubborn about your dreams. You cannot be told that if you did not play professionally you cannot coach."

Mokwena offered: "Passion is everything. You must fight for your dreams and stay focused. As the youth of today, we must take ourselves as servants. Coaching gives you a great opportunity to make a difference in your community. It's a big responsibility."

Senong has also urged aspirant young coaches to read widely about football.

Senong and Mokwena are indeed a true inspiration to the young people who aspire to venture into the coaching profession at an early stage.

X