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Mamelodi Sundowns

Rulani Slams Bafana: There’s No Data!

Rulani Mokwena, a calm figure also very capable of shooting from the hip, has fired a salvo at Bafana Bafana and expressed extreme discontent!  

The Mamelodi Sundowns coach has claimed that several of their first team regulars have returned from national team duty either injured or burnt-out, and there appears to have been no warning from the Bafana medical team.  

“With the Bafana players, it’s a very difficult situation. We can’t even communicate with the medical department, we don’t know the itinerary of Bafana, we don’t know the training programme of Bafana, we don’t get training feedback in relation to the load. There’s no data. Bafana frustrates us a little bit because at the moment as Sundowns we are always the first, over the years, to show the willingness to support the nation, support the cause and release as many personnel – including support structure,” said Mokwena.

Speaking after Downs held AS Maniema Union 2-2 in the first leg of their CAF Champions League group stages play-off tie, the coach suggested the communication lines between the club and the national team was non-existent.

“We’ve had Thabiso (Moshane), Kabelo (Rangoaga), Mario (Masha), and Wendell Robinson (all Downs support staff) going from Sundowns to represent Bafana Bafana. So, in relation to the country’s cause, Mamelodi Sundowns has always put Bafana, in certain moments, ahead of its own cause,” Mokwena went on.

“And it’s a bit disappointing that even in the previous camp, Thapelo returned and returned injured and he is not back yet. We are still trying to get him into the groove – we gave him a couple of minutes (against Union). He has returned to fitness, to play, to train, but he in the moment he is still not in the right competitive space to be ready. And then you have the situation of Mothobi Mvala, who is so important for us, particularly for this African sojourn and this assignment with his physicality and his ability to win aerial duels and to control and give us combativeness in the midfield. He comes back from Bafana and he is injured. And then there’s Rushine De Reuck, who did not finish our previous game against Swallows as precaution because he is feeling a muscular complication, but he continues to play for Bafana. (Thabiso) Kutumela comes back and he’s jaded, overloaded and comes back and struggles to perform.”

Mokwena was also very critical of the Bafana training regime.

“These are some of the things that disappointing us… but okay, it is what it is, we just have to keep supporting the national cause. But it’s just disappointing that the international break comes with the load and we just don’t get any form of response, not just from the technical team, but even from the medical department. It is what it is, our is to focus on what we can focus on and try control what we can control,” he said.  

“As Sundowns we will always look to support the cause, it’s just disappointing that over the last two international breaks we receive our players and they come back with injury complications and they are all muscular, which speak about training load and match load. We have to improve in that space and see how we can get better communication. Something is happening there and I am not quite sure what it is.”

Story by @superjourno 

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