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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Sundowns’ Mokwena – It’s a thankless job

'You ask yourself (if it's worth it) because it's at the expense of your health, relationships and social life,' said the Sundowns head coach.

Rulani Mokwena has revealed how he questions if coaching Mamelodi Sundowns is worth it after the team’s 1-0 win over TP Mazembe in the Caf Champions League on Saturday.

It was a rather bizarre response to a question about whether his team is appreciated enough for their exploits on the continent and  domestic front.

The Brazilians topped Group A to qualify for the quarterfinal of the champions league they last won in 2016. They are also 11 points clear at the top of the DStv Premiership standings after 16 matches with two games in hand.

“I say to people who ask me if they should go into coaching, I always say no, don’t do it because it’s a thankless job,” he said.

“It’s a calling and we serve as best as we possibly can but sometimes you ask yourself (if it’s worth it) because it’s at the expense of your health, relationships and social life. The only way you get it right is when you make sacrifices but no one sees it because no one feels the pain you feel.

“No one gets sick as you do or gets the stress as much as you do. You carry the crown sometimes and people say that you carry it with so much aplomb then it must be easy but it’s a very difficult thing. It’s good that I say this after we have won because sometimes I ask myself it’s really worth it. I’ve said this before that sometimes I sit by myself and ask if this coaching job is really worth it. It’s easier to sit on the other side, watch and criticise. Then I say okay let’s exchange chairs and people will run away fast.”

Mokwena also reiterated his stance on his players not perhaps getting the credit they deserve. They have so far won the inaugural African Football League while they are on course to defend their league title. The Nedbank Cup and champions league still are up for grabs this season.

‘We have a lack of appreciation for good things’

“It’s funny because our analyst Mario Masha asked after the game if we really appreciate what we are seeing. I don’t know because I love my team, players and Sundowns but I don’t know if it’s appreciated by everybody,” he continued.

“It’s not even a South African thing but it’s just a general human trait where we have a lack of appreciation for good things and we try to destroy a lot of good things that we have. Sometimes when I look at this team, I think that my goodness a few years ago we would not have played the way we are playing now. We would not have been as adventurous as we are and we would not have played the type of football that we play.”

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