Rulani Mokwena is still with us, say Bucs

Rulani Mokwena is on leave, not 'redeployed', as some fans think.
Rulani Mokwena is on leave, not 'redeployed', as some fans think.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates boss Floyd Mbele has reassured supporters that Rulani Mokwena still has a future at the club.

Doubts about Mokwena's future began to surface with the surprise appointment of German coach Josef Zinnbauer last month.

Mbele confirmed that the assistant coach was currently on leave. "He [Mokwena] is currently on leave and there is nothing more to it. The coach has also said this before," Mbele told Sowetan.

He said the club had taken Mokwena's request for days off at face value.

"If somebody applies for leave then it's an internal HR matter," he said.

"If you apply for leave then the club cannot ask you why you want to take leave."

Pirates wished Mokwena a happy birthday on social media yesterday as he turned 35.

With Zinnbauer having hit the ground running working alongside second assistant Fadlu Davids, some suggestions have been that Mokwena could be redeployed to another position within the club.

Mbele said at the moment there were no alterations to the technical team. "There is no change in the structure of the technical team. Rulani remains the assistant coach."

Attempts to contact Mokwena were unsuccessful as he was said to be abroad.

The Buccaneers appear to be finding their feet under German Zinnbauer, who has returned two wins and a draw.

They recorded their biggest win in more than a year with a 4-1 demolition of Polokwane City away from home. The last time the team scored that many goals was when they beat AmaZulu last February.

Their next game is against rivals Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.

Zinnbauer said he was looking forward to the clash against the defending league champions.

"Sundowns is a different opponent and play a different system. I hope that we prepare the team so well that we get a point or more from them," he said.

The 49-year-old added that he was not preoccupied with chasing down leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who are 14 points ahead of them.

"We looking from one game to the other game. It's not possible now to speak a lot about it. The players must work hard with me and we will see what comes in the next months."

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