Rulani to work closely with Downs’ next big star

Rulani to work closely with Downs’ next big star

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena will work closely with striker Jerome Karelse, a player he believes is the club’s next big star.

The Brazilians’ mentor has already made a big statement by throwing the 20-year-old into the deep end when he brought him on in the win over Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium over the weekend to run down the clock. Mokwena has been monitoring the player’s reserve league matches. 

"You never know to be honest, whether they are ready or not. You've got to throw them in the deep end, they've got to try to swim. I said in the previous press conference that it's good for Karelse. 

I watched his game yesterday (Sunday, 5 February) against the very same Richards Bay in the DDC (DStv Diski Challenge) and today he came back, he did his recovery session and my first comment to him was 'I need to sit down with him and do analysis on his performances because there's so much still that you need to improve’”, Mokwena said.  

The coach believes Karelse has the majority of the attributes to make him a great striker. 

"When I look at young players I try to look at the bigger picture. I try to look at, not where they are, but where I think they could be. And Jerome is one of the players that I feel has incredible potential, still to improve because he's got some very weapons already like speed and the ability to solve situations in tight areas. So, speed, technique and dribble which are very important weapons in modern football to have", claimed Mokwena. 

Sundowns host Richards Bay in the Nedbank Cup round of 32 tonight, and with Mokwena likely to make changes to the line-up with their opening Caf Champions League group stages fixture a few days later, Karelse could get a run. 

Meanwhile, the reigning league champions are likely to also unleash another young player in the coming months. Midfielder Ntando Nkosi is knocking on the first team door. 

"he's a talent that excites me a lot. I watched him at training for the last two, or three days. He's just been a little bit unlucky with injuries but that's normal for a youngster that comes into the senior team and then the intensity and the demands are a lot higher"