'Rulani is just a monster when it comes to consuming information‚' says Komphela

Steve Komphela came up against his protege Rulani Mokwena.
Steve Komphela came up against his protege Rulani Mokwena.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Lamontville Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela says it would be “catastrophic” if Orlando Pirates’ young caretaker-coach Rulani Mokwena were to have his new tenure nipped in the bud.

Komphela was speaking after Arrows held Pirates to a 0-0 Absa Premiership draw at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

The result constituted Bucs’ sixth match without a win in all competitions‚ and the fourth for 32-year-old coaching prodigy Mokwena since the bombshell departure of head coach Milutin Sredojevic.

Komphela – who first promoted then 24-year-old Mokwena to a senior team coaching job at Platinum Stars – said if Pirates panic and do not give the young boss time to find his feet it will be a disaster for the generation of young technocrat coaches emerging in SA.

“It gives great pride and pleasure.

"And not because an opportunity is being granted‚ but deservedly so‚” Komphela said‚ asked how he felt about Mokwena’s promotion at Pirates.

Golden Arrows head coach Steve Komphela is one of the favourites to take over the Bafana Bafana coaching job.
Golden Arrows head coach Steve Komphela is one of the favourites to take over the Bafana Bafana coaching job.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

“Rulani is just a monster when it comes to consuming information. He’s still very young.

"He has a bright future in him.

“Now if we want to give hope to the rest of the up-and-coming young coaches‚ and then we want to switch off this light we see in Rulani‚ it would be catastrophic.

“But the first thing is for him to move into an immediate realisation and acceptance zone that where he is‚ it’s hot.

“All we can say to him is that as much as he has received the support from Orlando Pirates‚ the supporters‚ administration‚ and all those‚ he must keep pushing.

“It is a wonderful opportunity‚ a unique one. He must enjoy and treasure it.

“Because come tomorrow when he looks back‚ he must not regret the fact that‚ ‘Goodness me‚ I had the opportunity but I never enjoyed it’.

“And he must bring his brains. Football is about brains. He’s got sharp brains.

“He must bring his brains‚ his ideas‚ and work within the institution to try to better the South African game.

“And that would also go for Fadlu [Davids‚ Pirates’ second assistant-coach]. And it goes for any other young coach out there.

Fadlu Davids is one of SA's young coaches.
Fadlu Davids is one of SA's young coaches.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

“Dinosaurs like us are about to go. We are at the stage where now we are nearing the end.

“Now who is going to take the baton? But then we have a responsibility as well – South Africans‚ members of the media – to see the light‚ and to assist the ones who can assist us.

“You can imagine the moment where we cut the light – it means it’s just going to be dark‚ and we’ll get no-one.

“And then come tomorrow there’s no electricity – it’s dark. And then you would say‚ ‘But you cut the light‚ by denying the opportunity of a shining star’.

“He’s got unbelievable brains. He must not get tired. He must just focus on his job.

“And I’m sure‚ one way or the other the Almighty will reward him.”

Arrows’ point against Pirates left Komphela’s team in sixth place in the PSL after four matches from two wins‚ a draw and a defeat.

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