Five days after former Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane shockingly resigned from the, his assistants Manqoba Mnqgithi and Rhulani Mokwena have been appointed as his replacements.
Manqoba and Rhulani will work as co-coaches but the club said Manqoba’s decision will prevail should the two fail to reach a consensus.
The wieight of replacing such an iconic figure who has won five league titles, the CAF Champions League and bowed out a trebble winner is quite daunting.
Manqoba and Rhulani know first hand what legacy Mosimane leaves having worked closely with him during his time.
Manqoba specifically has worked as Mosimane’s assistant for the last seven years and together they lifted 13 titles, while Rhulani only returned to Sundowns in July and helped them win the league and Nedbank Cup after the restart of football in August.
During his first interview, Rhulani paid homage to the Sundowns President for showing faith in them before acknowledging that while the responsibility may be huge, they are looking up to taking on the role.
“It is a great honour, there is a deep sense of feeling that goes in towards appreciating the opportunity that we have been given,” Mokwena told the club’s media.
“With a big opportunity comes big responsibility, primarily to fill in the shoes of coach Pitso Mosimane because the reality is it is an enormous task at an enormous club.”
“The President has shown a lot of faith, a lot of belief and trust in our capacity as coaches and we can only look forward to making sure we represent the club as best as we possibly can,” he said.
“To give everything we have and do everything we can to do the best for this club and to maintain the recent success and maybe surpass it.”
“The responsibility is immense but it is a responsibility we are looking forward to.”
“We thank the Masandawana family and the Yellow Nation for the love and the support that they have shown not just to myself and coach Manqoba but with the players and the club.”
“We look forward to representing them and making sure that we keep them happy,” Rhulani added.
Manqoba has previously coached Golden Arrows, AmaZulu, Chippa United, before joining Mamelodi as assistant coach in 2013.
Rhulani on the other hand, served as an assistant and interim coach at Orlando Pirates as well as an interim at Chippa United.
Manqoba and Rhulani will get their first test in the dug-out with the new-look Masandawana squad after 13 new arrivals ahead of the 2020/21 campaign that begins with the MTN8 on 17 October, a week before the DStv Premiership campaign commences.