South Africa

Mokwena tags good preparation for Sundowns’ record-breaking start

Rulani Mokwena has attributed their blistering start to the season to having captured their key targets while still in pre-season.

Getting deals done early enabled the coach to have enough time to work with his new recruits and blood them into the Sundowns way of playing.

One arrival that has taken to life in South African football like a duck to water is Lucas Ribeiro who has seamlessly adjusted to the demands at Chloorkop. The Brazilian attacker is cruising with four goals in the opening six DStv Premiership matches.

“I would attribute it (good start) to number one, very good preparation in a sense that a lot of work was done in the off-season,” Mokwena said.

“Not just from a technical perspective but also from the club, from the chairman and the support we got from the Motsepe family with regards to the targets that we had from a recruitment perspective and the sporting director for the amount of work that he did.

“The hard work they did procuring the players faster than we normally would. There are a lot of areas from the club that don’t necessarily get the credit and recognition for their contribution. The second part is just having very good players and a good squad with good human beings.”

Mokwena also revealed the harmony and brotherhood that exists within his star-studded squad that will be expected pick up where they left off when their campaign resumes following the FIFA break.

“A lot of these sundowns players are so honest and good professionals,” he said.

“I’m grateful that I’m their coach but I’m also grateful that I’m able to learn from them. Marcello Allende was the other day handing out serviettes to every player including some of the staff members during a pre-match meal.

“These are the type of players that I work with Peter Shalulile, Teboho Mokoena and Grant Kekana. Grant celebrates every goal we score even if he’s not playing, he runs to the corner flag.”

Sundowns have won their opening six league matches for the first time in the club’s history.