Mokwena was thrown into the lion’s den at Orlando Pirates – Carnell

The 35-year-old mentor is now at Chippa United for the remainder of the season, and it’s unclear if he will return to the Sea Robbers for next season

Former Orlando Pirates assistant coach Bradley Carnell believes Rhulani Mokwena was thrown into the deep end when he was appointed as the club’s interim coach in August 2019. 

The Soweto-born mentor held the position for four months between August and December following the departure of Milutin Sredojevic. 

Carnell said while Mokwena is an intelligent coach who doesn’t rely on copy and paste, his appointment to the head coaching role came way too early.  

“Rhulani, yeah, he was a protege of Pitso Mosimane and I obviously came up against him a few times when he was an assistant coach at Mamelodi Sundowns,” Carnell told LeftBackFootball.  

“He’s a real guy who doesn’t just rely on a copy and paste system. He tries his own way and he’s finding his own way at the moment. Yeah, I think he’s one of the young coaches who believes in a modern approach to the game – the tactical approach to the game,” he said.  

“I’ve enjoyed following his progress, he was unfortunately thrown into the lion’s den, taking on the head coaching role at Pirates for a while but he’s gone out on his own now and only time will tell about him as a coach regarding his tactical way and philosophy as well as the modern approach to the game.”  

The former Kaizer Chiefs left-back further stated South Africa needs younger coaches with fresh ideas to take football forward, and he made mention of Benni McCarthy who spent two seasons as head coach of Cape Town City before being sacked at the start of the season. 

And Carnell expects Mokwena to be a successful coach alongside Fadlu Davids, who is an assistant to Pirates mentor Josef Zinnbauer although he feels it’s up to them to find their own way.   

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“I think the world is his oyster. He’s a really passionate coach. I hope he succeeds because, in South Africa, we need a coach who is a younger guy coming in to really set the scene alight,” added Carnell.  

“Benni McCarthy came in at Cape Town City and he did a great job with them. Rhulani Mokwena, I think he’s highly educated with his coaching expertise and he’s had the best platform to learn and to grow.

“It’s only a matter of time before big things come from him. Fadlu Davids, as well, is another coach; a young up-and-coming [coach]. If you always look at a young up-and-coming coach, you always have to go one step further back; what were his roots and who did he look up to. Now, it’s up to them to find their own way,” added Carnell. 

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