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Mapeza’s successor bows out a proud man

He might have lasted just one game, after replacing Norman Mapeza at the world’s most chaotic football club but, Rhulani Mokwena, says he has a lot to be proud of.

Rhulani Mokwena, coach of Orlando Pirates during the 2019 Telkom Knockout Quarter Final Orlando Pirates Press Conference at the PSL Offices, Johannesburg on the 31 October 2019 (Picture by ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

He says he is happy to become the first Chippa United head coach to see out his contract with the South African Premiership club.

And, he claims, he was also unbeaten during his stay at the club.

The 35-year-old recently parted ways with the Chilli Boys a month after club chairman Siviwe “Chippa’’ Mpengesi indicated they were looking to keep him for the long term.

However, the Chilli Boys, who have a history of firing coaches in South African football, announced Mokwena will leave the club when his short-term deal expired at the end of last month.

Mokwena had joined the Eastern Cape-based side in March 2020, on loan from Orlando Pirates, but he says he left as a proud man.

“We only played one match, but there’s a lot of positives that one can take. That 0-0 draw was something that we were prepared to take as a positive,” Mokwena told IOL.

“By default, it means I leave the club undefeated!

“I leave Chippa United as the first coach to finish his contract. I finished my stay without getting fired.

“Beyond that is what we’ve done for the club and they will benefit in the future. We have an agreement with the high performance centre at Nelson Mandela Bay.

“We’ve set up a few good processes.’’

The 2019/20 season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic shortly after Chippa’s goalless draw with Bidvest Wits in a PSL match on March 7.

The Chilli Boys confirmed a collaboration with the High Performance Centre at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University during Mokwena’s time with the club.

According to the publication, Mokwena was unwilling to speak about his future plans with his contract with Pirates having expired on Tuesday.

Mokwena was demoted to assistant coach following the arrival of German tactician Josef Zinnbauer at Pirates midway through the current season.

However, the former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach took a study leave and he was later appointed Chippa head coach, replacing Zimbabwean gaffer Mapeza.

It remains to be seen whether Mokwena, who is highly-rated by Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza, will return to the club when the suspended campaign resumes.

The Chilli Boys announced the return of Morgan Mammila as the club’s new general manager — football and compliance.

Mammila left his post as chief executive in April 2019 and he later joined Royal Eagles in the National First Division in October.

He returns to the club to try and strengthen the management team led by Mpengesi. His return coincides with the departures of Mokwena.

According to a statement released by Chippa, Mammila will double up on football matters as well as ensuring the club complies with coronavirus regulations as set by the PSL and the South African Football Association in one of their Joint Liaison Committee meetings.

The JLC resolved that each of the 32 PSL clubs appoint a compliance officer as part of the return-to-play regulations to try and assist clubs to deal with the spread of the coronavirus effectively.

“Chippa United Football Club is delighted to announce the return of Mr Morgan Mammila as general manager – Football and Compliance,” read the statement.

“Mr Morgan Mammila comes for his second stint, previously been with the club in the 2018/19 season.

“Mr Morgan Mammila comes highly recommended with vast experience. The club needed someone of his calibre and stature during this difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The chairman and management are incredibly happy to have him back and confident that Mr Morgan Mammila will excel in executing his duties, thus wish him well.”

When Mmamila dumped Chippa, he cited interference in the way the club was run under his watch as chief executive, and it’s unclear if that has changed now that he has agreed to go back. — The Herald/Goal.com

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