Rulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula | diskidaily.co.zaRulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula

Rulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula

Rulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula | diskidaily.co.za
Rulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula

Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Rulani Mokwena Sets the Record Straight on Cassius Mailula’s Bafana Bafana Call-Up

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Rulani Mokwena, has responded to reports that his comments regarding Cassius Mailula’s call-up to the South African national team were misinterpreted. Mailula, who is a 21-year-old product of Sundowns’ development program, recently made his senior South Africa international debut and played in two cameo appearances against Liberia as they qualified for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Mokwena Clarifies His Statements

Mokwena was quoted as saying that he would have preferred if Mailula had been with the U23 squad to help them secure a place at the U23 AFCON and be an integral part of that squad. However, Mokwena now clarifies that he was misunderstood and that he has always maintained that young offensive players, like Mailula, get better by being on the pitch.

Contradicting Statements

The coach highlighted that he was the one who makes the decision on whether Mailula is ready to play for Sundowns against Al Ahly. Therefore, it would be contradictory to suggest that he is not ready for Bafana Bafana. Mokwena further explained that he would have loved to see Mailula play for 90 minutes against Congo away, rather than just a few minutes for Bafana Bafana. He believes that such high-intensity games, where players must help their nation qualify, are critical for the development of young players.

Mokwena’s Approach

Mokwena revealed that his approach involves giving young players opportunities to compete, while also reminding them that they need to work hard to maintain their positions in the team. He explained that society is often driven by instant gratification and that young players must realize that there is a long way to go before they can establish themselves as elite players.

Rulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula | diskidaily.co.za
Rulani Addresses Misinterpretation Of His Comments On Mailula

Nassir vs. Mailula

Mokwena was also asked about Abubeker Nassir, an Ethiopian international who is one year older than Mailula and has won Player of the Season and Golden Boot awards. He explained that Nassir has more experience internationally and in his domestic league. However, he stated that his answer was premeditated and focused on clarifying the whole fracas about “Cash” (Mailula’s nickname), rather than discussing the quality of Nassir.

Final Thoughts

Mokwena’s comments reveal his support for young players and his belief that they develop by being on the pitch. He emphasizes the importance of high-pressure games to their growth, which is why he would have preferred Mailula to play for 90 minutes against Congo, rather than just a few minutes for Bafana Bafana. His approach involves giving young players opportunities to compete, but also reminding them that they must work hard to maintain their positions in the team.

 

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