Coach Rulani on the Versatility of Players

Mamelodi Sundowns has had players display versatility in occupying different positions on the pitch during the 2022/22 season. Head Coach, Rulani Mokwena shared the importance of introducing different schemes and versatility among players to improve their skills and performance.

Some of the notable Bafana Ba Style footballers have played various positions such as Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane Aubrey Modiba, and Rivaldo Coetzee. Occasions where Morena was seen playing different positions include when Mamelodi Sundowns played against Orlando Pirates on the 30th of December 2022 where he played as a right back and has played as a striker during CAF Champions League games.

“We want to play faster and when you want to play faster, there’s going to be more chaos than order. Because of pressure, one might be found pressing in a position that is much further than their original position. So, because I moved far from that position when we lose the ball, a player like Aubrey Modiba must defend in the Midfield and defend as a Left Back”, said the Masandawana Coach as he explained how the versatility.

Coach Rulani further mentioned that versatility comes in during games that require a different structure and the understanding of how midfielders defend will be what we teach a little bit more. He said, “When training and we introduced sessions where we have players play different roles and have a feeling of what other players in different positions go through.”

The 2022/23 DStv Premiership Coach of the Season spoke about the importance of trust when introducing changes that are possible solutions in the team. “I agree that versatility in the modern game is important. With this, players need to be comfortable on the pitch and still be dominant in the game against the opposition. It’s also crucial for the players to trust the Coach because they only trust you when you show that you can be trusted as a leader. The Coach then has the responsibility to ensure that he earns the trust of the players.”

For the last league game against Maritzburg United, Coach Rulani shared that he changed the way the team was supposed to play on the day before the game after their training session, making Rivaldo Coetzee play two positions during that game. He applauded Rivaldo’s ability to play as a Centre Back and as a Midfielder in the same game and highlighted how the trust between them made the smooth transition possible.

The Brazilians Coach also communicated that the quality and ability of the players to be able to do certain things are educational to him as a coach because then he can watch and observe how versatile players can be.  He added by revealing that Thapelo Morena and Themba Zwane have played the most positions during the 2022/23 season.

5 Responses
  1. Mfana

    But strangely my coach when Modiba is required to defend doesn’t defend at all and he allows crosses that translate to goals from the opposition team.I don’t know whether u have seen that or u choose to put a blind eye to it.But we will see at the start of the season whether favoritism is in your veins or playing people on merit is not in your veins.But we will support you at all costs, we are having a lot of hope and lot of expectations from your philosophy.I so wish that you realize that Sundowns needs a lot advisers and u r not running a one man show.Rulani you will go very far and I so wish you shine brighter than a diamond in the sky..Let’s conquer Africa again and let’s collect more trophies but I hate it when Sundowns goes out to buy Mendieta having Siyabonga Mabena,you just ask wasn’t enough with Ralani?We r expecting more game time given to the boy and I see no reason to loan him to any team.But in reality I still hold in high esteem as a coach and the club is playing the most appetizing and appealing football in the world.No one takes us for granted when playing against us.

  2. Pat

    Goodluck for next season, also note that we must not complicate things and fix when is not broken hopefuly and i say hopefuly we must’nt find ourself again on the Tade situation with this guy mandieta if its true, cos Eish at Sundowns its tough baba so ngomjita ahhh, anyway let the good times rol

  3. Muzi Kunene

    Pls buy Fiston Kalala Mayele for us if you’re serious about conquering Africa and win the Champs League this season I mean his buy out clause is only R10m which is not a big deal to a team of Downs calibre.
    For once just forget about South Americans that boy is so good even over the weekend he scored for his country Drc.
    Maybe you’ll realized later if maybe Chiefs buys him because they’re busy negotiating with his former coach and obvious he’ll come with him here in SA to torment our Psl defenders including your trusted Mvala
    Its been a while since I saw a good striker like that in Africa even your Shalulile can’t match him mark my words,other publications are busy telling us that we’ll sign Vincent Pule what a waist of money to an old player and Khoza will laugh all the way to the bank because he’ll be expensive. Guys let’s tell our Management about Mayele please untill they’ll hear us and if you think I’m overhypying him just watch him on Youtube you’ll be amazed by his talent I swear.


    Members i agree with you,we need Mayele and we don’t need useless and wasteful Pule and we also don’t need Mendieta.I really think there are people in the club who are pushing their personal agendas.You can’t let Domingo go and use 10 million to sign an old Mendieta who is still going to need a lot of time to adapt to the team’s culture,we have Mabena whom we can easily groom to be the best.Part of coaching is to create stars within the team not to always buy players.We have a very solid team and this is the right time to produce stars in the team not waste money on someone’s useless friends, the likes of Pule.We are going to lose good players because we have no eyes to see the diamonds at our disposal.Other coaches should also use the diamonds you polished.When you check in Europe you will swear the likes of Saka,Haaland,Gavi,Fode,Vini Junior etc have 30 years because they have been playing for a long time.In mzanzi we play age rather than talent hence we sign the like of Mendieta,Ralani.If you sign an old player you must play him every time he is available because you didn’t have what he has.

  5. jero

    Yellow Nation ,as one of the family member my plea to the Technical Team is to prepare
    a team well . I know everyone is aware where we came short last season.1. We did not know how to defend set plays I am glad though that we brought someone to work on it.2. We did not kill games at some stages I know could be we never prepare well for some games cause we turn to play 3 games in 7 days in the week but work on their mentality strength and remind them that to stick on normal basics and be calm in the kitchen3, We could not keep enough position or defend with the ball when we were leading example the game that took us off in the Champions league semis. Lastly Please sell players overseas if there is opportunity for players to play abroad it is a dream for every player to play overseas .Lastly thank you for giving opportunity to the young boys keep it up