1 November, 2017 |
The Absa Premiership encounter between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns will be somewhat of a mini reunion. On the side of Sundowns, Oupa Manyisa will be making his first return to Orlando Stadium since moving across to the Tshwane based outfit in August, while for the hosts on the night, it will be a first encounter for assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena to face his former employers.
Mokwena, who spent time at the Brazilians plotting the demise of the opposition, will have his first opportunity to orchestrate a blueprint to topple his mentor and former colleague Pitso Mosimane on Wednesday night.
It will be particularly emotional for Mokwena, who for six years, called Chloorkop home.
"I'm trying my best to just focus on what I have to do as a part of the team and not try to get too emotionally," said Mokwena. "I know there will be certain emotions that come out when I see familiar faces on the opposing dugout, but I'm a professional and will need to stay focused and leave the emotions and friendships aside for at least 90 minutes.”
Mokwena who happens to be a CAF African Champions League winner at only 30-years old, thanks to his time at the Brazilians, remains friends with Mosimane and other former Downs colleagues.
“I will forever remain grateful for the opportunity that the President Mr (Patrice) Motsepe gave me and for how Pitso (Mosimane) welcomed me with open arms. There is no denying the fact that a lot of the experience I have acquired over the years is thanks to my time at the Club.”
He added: “But like I said before, Pirates is my new home and my immediate focus will be on helping the team collect maximum points on the night.”