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Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena calls for patience on Mailula: ‘Calm down, there is a long way to go for him'

7:30 PM WAT 05/01/2023
Cassius Mailula Mamelodi Sundows.
Mamelodi Sundowns’ head coach Rhulani Mokwena has asked for patience on Masandawana’s emerging star Cassius Mailula.
  • Mailula has enjoyed spotlight after impressive performances
  • Mokwena explains how he can become even better
  • Says Peter Shalulile and Themba Zwane’s presence key to his development

WHAT HAPPENED? Mailula’s performances for the Brazilians this season has caught the eyes of many, and just recently, former Sundowns’ forward Katlego Mashego said the 21-year-old is ripe and deserves a Bafana Bafana chance.

However, Mokwena has insisted Mailula – who is enjoying his debut appearance in the Premier Soccer League - needs patience to grow.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "Earlier in the season, when Cassius was scoring, everyone was shouting, but I said, ‘calm down'," Mokwena said, per Times Live.

"I still say calm down because there is a long way to go for him. We sit for a long period and do corrections, and then we sit down and show him the pictures [video analysis].

"Of course, the pictures don’t come exactly the same way as the feel and adaptation to different situations on the pitch happen.

"The only way for him to get better is to live the moments on the pitch, and that’s going to happen with all the young players in the team. We have another promising youngster in [reserve player] Jerome Karelse, and I think he will be something special."

AND WHAT IS MORE: The presence of many experienced players at Sundowns will help Mailula and other young players grow even better, according to Mokwena.

"The good thing is you have players who have quality and experience around Cassius, which is important. Training with Themba Zwane, Peter Shalulile, Haashim Domingo, Lesedi Kapinga, and Gift Motupa every day will make these youngsters better," the tactician added.

"The future is bright, and we can move into the space where young talent comes through the youth system to the first team rather than from outside to the first team.

"Offensive players only improve through experience, young players that play in the defensive or midfield line can get better through training — through a lot of assistance with simulating situations."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mailula, after making his PSL debut in September 2022, has scored seven goals and provided an assist.

He and Mothobi Mvala were the scorers in the 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates as the Tshwane giants ended 2022 on a high.

WHAT NEXT FOR MAILULA? As he continues to enjoy the spotlight owing to his performance, he needs to not get distracted by it and hope for many goals and assists in the season.