Orlando Pirates

Relebohile Mofokeng of Orlando Pirates. Image: Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix

How Orlando Pirates have unlocked a star in Relebohile Mofokeng

Orlando Pirates handling of young star Relebohile Mofokeng has earned the Sea Robbers praise from a Kaizer Chiefs icon.

Orlando Pirates

Relebohile Mofokeng of Orlando Pirates. Image: Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix

Siphiwe Tshabalala has lauded Orlando Pirates handling of young star Relebohile Mofokeng, who has emerged as the breakout star of the DStv Premiership.

Tshabalala believes there is a lesson for other clubs in the way Orlando Pirates have approached Mofokeng.

Why Orlando Pirates youngster Relebohile Mofokeng is thriving?

Tshabalala praised the way Mofokeng is being mentored and protected.

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Kaizer Chiefs aren’t offering the same to Mduduzi Shabalala, Samkelo Zwane, Wandile Duba and Mfundo Vilakazi according to Shabba.

“I’ll give examples, Mofokeng is playing well, and is a regular, he’s getting game-time, which is good for him, good for football [in the country],” Tshabalala told iDiski Times.

“And he looks like he’s in an environment where he’s being guided, where he’s being mentored and also being protected. 

“And now he’s at a level where he can be thrown into the deep end. You can only improve when you play, you cannot improve on the bench and when you’re not a regular. 

“With Chiefs it’s a bit different now because of the situation.

“I said it before, there are good players at Chiefs, the club doesn’t have bad players, the challenge is that they don’t have a team,” the football icon said.

Kaizer Chiefs lack structure and identity

Tshabalala further critiqued the lack of structure and identity within Kaizer Chiefs.

“There’s no structure currently, there’s no identity, it looks more reliant on individual brilliance [to win games] more than a team structure and it becomes a problem for the youngsters when they are promoted to the first team, because they come into an environment where the team is not doing well, not winning,” he added.

“And now when they are being introduced as well, they get lost because there’s no structure or identity, they don’t even know what patterns of play, style of play,” he continued.

Thrown in at the deep end

Kaizer Chiefs management are throwing young players in at the deep end according to the club icon. He feels that isn’t enough at the PSL level.

The icon says young players are force to lean on their talent and aren’t being coached at Naturena.

“So when they play, they’re [doing] things relying on their talent, rather than the structure of the team. 

“They come into a tough environment, with pressure, a lot of criticism, so that’s where mentorship is required, a lot of conversations are needed to prepare them, keep them grounded and also to let them know they are good players, they are capable of being great players.”