Rulani Mokwena dedicates individual accolade to Mamelodi Sundowns players and staff

Rulani Mokwena dedicates individual accolade to Mamelodi Sundowns players and staff

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena says the two successive DStv Prem Coach of the Month awards that have come his way are a reflection of the work put in behind the scenes.

The Brazilians mentor was on Thursday confirmed as the winner for the February/March gong on the back of claiming the same accolade during the December/January period. 

He was speaking during Downs’ CAF Champions League press conference ahead of facing Coton Sport in their final group stage encounter this weekend, and said he prefers to call the award ‘Team of the Month.’

"I have to thank the football club first, of course, for the opportunity, as you mentioned. I always say, with a lot of humility too, that individual accolades in a game of football only reflect the means and contributions of everybody in the football club," said Mokwena.

"And awards like Coach of the Month, I received with a lot of humility and a lot of appreciation. You don't win football matches if it's not because of your football players, and so my deepest sense of appreciation goes to this fantastic group that I am privileged to lead.

"So, I received the award on their behalf and dedicate it to them because I think, if I could, I would say it's the 'Team of the Month' award instead of the 'Coach of the Month' award because I don't play, I don't score. 

"No coach has scored a football goal. No coach has defended a goal, and no coach has created a goal."

Mokwena was made the sole head coach at Sundowns in October last year and since then the reigning DStv Premiership champions are yet to lose a match, for which he gives credit to his backroom staff too. 

"One, to appreciate the opportunity; two, to appreciate the hard work and contributions of everyone involved at the football club, from our supporters, who give us a lot of support and galvanise the team, the technical team and coaches we have, who give us a lot of support and help in terms of making sure the performances are good.

"Because there would not be a 'Coach of the Month' award if the performances were not good and the team was not winning."