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Mokwena: I'm willing to die to return Pirates to glory days

Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena spoke of the pressure that came with coaching one of the biggest clubs in South Africa.

FILE: Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena during a training session. Picture: Twitter/@Orlandopirates

JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena has once again highlighted the importance of him returning the club to their glory days.

The Buccaneers take on Stellenbosch FC in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout on Sunday, looking to take steps towards winning a first trophy in four seasons.

Having grown up supporting the club, Mokwena knows just how much work is required to succeed in his position.

“My grandfather (Eric 'Scara' Sono) died for this club,” he said on Thursday. “My uncle, Jomo Sono, left his wedding for this club and who am I to complain when I have to spend sleepless nights? That’s all they ask of me, they ask me to spend sleepless nights to make sure that the club returns to winning ways.”

Mokwena also spoke of the pressure that came with coaching one of the biggest clubs in South Africa.

“The most valuable elements in the world, you talk about platinum and gold, diamonds… they’ve all got to go through the process of heat, being cut and pressure,” he added.

“And if you want to become a person of value, if you want to become a person of credibility, you’ve got to withstand heat. You’ve got to be prepared to be cut and you’ve got to be prepared to go through the pressure because you know what the outcome is most likely to be.

"As much as I am a man of process, I am prepared to go through the deepest, darkest of gold mines. I am here to serve. If it comes with pressure, so be it. If it means I get cut, so be it. At the end of the day, if it results in Orlando Pirates reclaiming its glory days, I’m prepared to die for that."

Full list of Telkom Knockout last 16 fixtures:

Friday, 18 October

Maritzburg United vs Bidvest Wits – 20h00

Saturday, 19 October

Cape Town City vs Kaizer Chiefs – 15h00

Mamelodi Sundowns vs AmaZulu – 15h00

Orlando Pirates vs Stellenbosch – 18h00

SuperSport United vs Baroka – 20h15

Sunday, 20 October

Golden Arrows vs Polokwane City – 15h00
Highlands Park vs Black Leopards – 15h00

Tuesday, 22 October

Chippa United vs Bloemfontein Celtic – 19h30

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