Absa Premiership

Mokwena suspends Komphela friendship for Soweto derby

2018-02-28 07:23
Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena has put on hold his friendship with Kaizer Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela ahead of Saturday's Soweto derby.

The pair's relationship dates back to 2009, when they worked together at Platinum Stars. During their time at Dikwena, Komphela promoted Mokwena from under-19 coach to assistant first-team coach.

However, as the two men prepare for a fiery encounter between second and third in the Premiership standings, Mokwena's relationship with Komphela is the last thing on his mind.

"I’ve got a very good relationship with the head coach of Kaizer Chiefs," said Mokwena.

"I think when you go through your apprenticeship as a coach, partnerships become extremely important. The people you meet on your path contribute towards setting you up either for success or failure.

"I think possibly one of the most important role players in my career as a coach was coach Steve."

The pair parted ways in 2010 but, according to Mokwena, Komphela has tried on numerous occasions to revive their professional relationship.

"While I was still at Sundowns, I would get job offers from Steve to come and assist him. He almost went to Chippa United and he called me from Maritzburg to come and assist," he revealed

"Unfortunately, at that time, the situation wasn’t right because I was already deeply entrenched into Sundowns, with a lot of responsibility at the club."

Mokwena eventually left Sundowns for the Buccaneers in August and has since impressed Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic, who has tipped him as a possible successor.

Come Saturday, Mokwena is left in no doubt as to which of the two head coaches at the FNB Stadium his loyalty will lie with.

"The focus for us is getting three points and, as I told the players in camp, I’ve blocked [Komphela] from my phone. I’m not receiving any calls, WhatsApp messages or whatever from Steve - and he knows we are rivals for the next seven days."

Kick-off is at 15:30.


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 24 August 2019
Golden Arrows v Chippa United, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium 15:00
Black Leopards v Highlands Park, Thohoyandou Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v SuperSport United, FNB Stadium 18:00
Sunday, 25 August 2019
Stellenbosch v Maritzburg United, Athlone Stadium 15:00
Baroka FC v Bloemfontein Celtic, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
Highlands Park v AmaZulu, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Cape Town City v Kaizer Chiefs, Newlands Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 Absa Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.