Not often has Rulani Mokwena been allowed near a microphone since joining Orlando Pirates almost exactly two years ago – when he does, it’s usually very explosive.
The Buccaneers assistant coach who has, rather unexpectedly, ascended to the head coaching job following the sudden departure of Micho Sredojevic a week ago, spoke proudly this week of taking on the hot seat.
It’s been a whirlwind last few days for the 32-year-old, what with the club losing the coach to Zamalek of Egypt despite the Serbian citing the illness of his mother as his reason for leaving, to Pirates being dumped out of the MTN8 by Highlands Park and then only managing a goalless draw against AmaZulu on Tuesday in an Absa Premiership clash.
He has another tough task tomorrow – seeing to it that the Buccaneers progress to the first round of the CAF Champions League by overturning a 1-0 deficit against little known Green Eagles of Zambia at Orlando Stadium.
“I am just excited. I am enjoying the responsibility of leading a club that I sleep, eat and breathe and a club that I was born into. If you cut my blood at the moment, you will see that I only bleed black and white,” he told the media.
“When I left Mamelodi Sundowns (as assistant to Pitso Mosimane), people said I made the wrong decision. But today I sit in a situation where I lead my grandfather’s club, I lead my uncle’s club and I lead my father’s club. I am honoured and privileged to be given such a responsibility by one of the most humble human beings, the chairman of Orlando Pirates (Irvin Khoza). All I can do is just enjoy it and give it the best that I can.”