Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
2 minute read
10 Dec 2021
11:12 am

Mokwena addresses Sirino’s lack of game time at Sundowns

Ntokozo Gumede

“We are fortunate that we have a squad where anybody can play," says Mokwena.

Gaston Sirino has seen little action at Mamelodi Sundowns this season. (Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Gaston Sirino has seen very little action this season at Mamelodi Sundowns, and at first, it appeared as though it was the technical team punishing him for sulking and trying to forge a move away to Egyptian giants Al-Ahly in the last transfer window, but his coach, Rulani Mokwena has given some clarity on Sirino’s minimal involvement.

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“We are fortunate that we have a squad where anybody can play and it is a good headache for us as coaches and at times we are unfair to some of the players, unfortunately that’s the reality,” said Mokwena.

“If you ask why Gaston is not playing, then you have to ask yourself why are Neo Maema and Thabiso Kutumela playing? And when you ask that question, the answer is on the pitch. Sometimes there are players who are not playing because we can only play 11. Huge compliments to their professionalism. Gaston, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Aubrey Modiba and players like Lesedi Kapinga and George Maluleka are not playing much,”Mokwena added.

The Masandawana mentor admitted that there is a certain level of biasness and perhaps favouritism where team selection is concerned. However, he lauded the performances of his less used players whenever they are given a chance, players like Aubrey Modiba, who provided an assist to Peter Shalulile in their recent DStv Premiership win against Royal AM.     

“These players train and it is not very easy to come to training in a space where you know you might not play or be part of the team but they go on with the business of training and give the team the best that they can as if they are going to be playing,” said Mokwena.

He added: “This is the mentality that they possess and why they get their opportunity, the responsibility is on them to be able to speak by performance and not to speak by showing long faces and showing the disgruntlement because the louder communication comes from the pitch and that is what Gaston did against Royal AM. He showed hunger and a good appetite to try and help the team and as long as they do that, it provides healthy competition for places in the team.”