The Gaston Sirino saga is finally over!
According to co-coach Rulani Mokwena, the Mamelodi Sundowns talisman is staying put and focusing on the new 2021/22 season that got underway last weekend – he won’t be leaving Chloorkop and has shown a real desire to continue winning trophies with Downs.
“I think the rumours are well documented, and it’s important to squash any new unfound stories speaking about a new offer for Gaston from anywhere – there’s nothing to that regard,” said Mokwena in an exclusive interview with the Siya crew this week.
“We love Gaston at Mamelodi Sundowns and we believe in his talent. We believe, like many of our players, he is an important part of the team and has helped us dominate and win trophies. The reality is that if we are going to do that again this season, we are going to need all our best players – Gaston is one of them.”
The Uruguayan has been the subject of interest in Cairo and has in the past not hidden his intentions to reunite with Pitso Mosimane at Ahly, despite putting pen to paper on a five-year contract almost twelve months ago.
“What is important for him is to focus on helping a club that loves him, a family that loves him and a team that has invested a lot in him. The club matches Gaston’s ambitions. He wants to win the CAF Champions League, the club wants to win the Champions League – we can do it together. The supporters love Gaston and would love to see him on the pitch wearing the Sundowns jersey. I think that is what everybody, including Gaston’s representatives, must focus on,” Mokwena added.
But has Sirino, who missed last weekend’s MTN8 quarterfinal win against Kaizer Chiefs, been forgiven?
“Everybody makes mistakes, and I think if you speak to Gaston he shows an element of remorse – the club has dealt with it internally with regards to the comments that he made and him wearing the Al Ahly shirt. He understands the severity of those actions. That sort of behaviour – disrespecting the club and bringing it and its supporters into disrepute is something we will not tolerate. That is now in the past,” the coach explained.
“Gaston is one of most important players and we will always treat him with respect. Hopefully now we can move on and focus on what is important, which is fighting the enemy that is outside instead of the enemy we perceived to be inside. Let’s leave the past in the past.”
Sirino’s most recent public display of defiance was during the off-season when he spoke to an Egyptian TV station claiming Downs were refusing to accept the offer from Ahly for his move to go ahead.
Mokwena told the Siya crew it was a decision the player deeply regrets.
“I have made a lot of mistakes in my career. I have done a lot of interviews which I am not proud of, that doesn’t mean I need to be punished or held to ransom. It’s the same with our players,” he said.
“Just because Gaston showed, in one moment or two moments, a side we are not proud of and he’s not proud of doesn’t mean we forget the times he served us with distinction and fought for us and helped us win trophies. He has shown appreciation, a million times. We can’t just remember the mishaps, let’s let bygones be bygones.”
Story by @superjourno
Check out piccs of Downs edging out Chiefs in the MTN8...