Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Mokwena hails Brian Mandela's impact amid Harambee Stars snub

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STARS ABROAD Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Mokwena hails Brian Mandela's impact amid Harambee Stars snub

Festus Chuma 09:36 - 15.03.2024

Rhulani Mokwena has showered praises on Brian Mandela's resilience and leadership at Mamelodi Sundowns despite his omission from the Harambee Stars squad.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena has lauded the exceptional qualities of center-back Brian Mandela despite his recent omission from the Harambee Stars squad for the upcoming Four Nations Tournament in Malawi. 

Mandela, whose journey has been marked by significant challenges, including a grave knee injury, has only featured in 22 matches for the Sundowns over the last two seasons. 

Despite making just two starts and six substitute appearances, Mokwena has underscored his invaluable presence in the team

"Brian is a special breed," Mokwena emphasized in an interview with Daily Nation."For Brian to be playing football [those +20 games], he's defying logic. After suffering a significant knee injury, the odds were against him. Yet, here he is, not only playing but inspiring with his attitude and dedication."

Mokwena further elaborated on the adversity Mandela faced, which could have potentially ended his playing career.

"I mean, when he had a very serious injury to his knee, from a psychological perspective, he should have stopped playing football," Mokwena remarked.

In addition to his on-field performances, Mandela's leadership qualities have been highlighted as crucial for the Sundowns, especially in a squad teeming with talent and experience. 

"His leadership in the change room is so important," Mokwena added.

Mokwena's praise extends beyond Mandela, acknowledging the collective strength and character of the Sundowns squad.

"Besides Brian, we have got far too many people who have defied the odds and continue to grow and improve. I think as a football club, we are very lucky to have some characters and personalities that we have in our team," he said.

Despite his contributions to the Sundowns, Mandela's recent career choices have seen him take a step back from international duties with the Harambee Stars. 

Since joining Masandawana in 2020, Mandela has been instrumental in the team securing three consecutive league titles (2020/2021, 2021/2022, and 2022/2023).

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