Mokwena suspends Komphela friendship for Soweto derby

CAPE TOWN – Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena has put his friendship on hold 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 from under-19 coach to assistant first-term coach.

However, as the pair 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,” Mokwena said.

“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 Steve.”

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

Come Saturday, Mokwena is left in no doubt as to which of the two head coached 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.

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