Orlando PiratesRelebohile Mofokeng is Siyabonga Mabena‘s peer but they can’t be compared right now.


Mamelodi Sundowns’ rising 17-year-old superstar Mabena made another exciting appearance against the University of Pretoria last week. The performance quickly raised comparisons with Orlando Pirates’ high-flying Mofokeng (19). According to Mokwena, the chat is not valid at all.

“The environments are completely different, number one, number two is; the feeling I have, the youth of today thinks everything is easy, it’s one good performance, oh I must start now,” Mokwena said via iDiskiTimes.

“The other day we were complimenting Mshishi for 400 appearances, we went down history lane, Mshishi was signed at Sundowns, you know how many months he waited for his debut? Nine! Nine months and then you see the longevity.

“So I tell the kids they have incredible talent, but the problem is it’s one good performance and then oh now back pages, on social media what what, the player stops working hard. And I would rather have longevity players like [Mshishi] than one-season wonders.

“I’ve seen them so many times in my career, so many times, these one season-wonders and then they just whistle away, so I try to keep them on the edge, good performances,” the former Orlando Pirates coach added.

“There’s an interview with [Robin] van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo who were speaking to their sons, Ronaldo took his son to Madeira where he grew up in Portugal and he showed his son where he slept, where he grew up and he’s son said you lying that’s now where you grew up. Did you really sleep there?

“The kids today grow up and society is completely against the upbringing of these kids, that’s my feeling, not for every coach, just the feeling I have about these kids, it’s the same way I have to continue with Mabena, Ntando, Thando, Kutlwano, Mali, Gabi, these kids have incredible potential.

“But you have to dim the light a little bit yourself because nobody else is going to, and they have to understand life is hard, things are not handed out, life is very, very hard and when I look at them and see the desire, appetite, they will play, but they need to understand life is hard, this is why these kids break down and then the only way the can learn how to support themselves is through substance abuse, then you ask yourself what happened?

“But they need to understand things aren’t easy so we need to protect them from the ills that society throws at them, sometimes you have to be the one who develops the hardships intentionally so they understand the journey of a professional footballer. Because the journey is not easy, it’s tough,” the Sundowns mentor concluded.


Soon after beating AmaZulu 4-2 in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, the two sides will meet again this weekend. Orlando Pirates will host the DStv Premiership game on Saturday at 17:00.


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