After being handed a difficult task in the 2022-2023 season, Mamelodi Sundowns captain Teboho Mokoena needed to adopt one strategy to accomplish that task.
Sundowns boss Rhulani Mokoena told Teboho Mokoena his main duty in the ended season was to protect the Brazilians’ defense to prevent the club from conceding more goals.
A difficult task that it accomplishment requires a solid team effort but Teboho Mokoena was left in a lone-ranger mission. The South African International was smart to start searching around the world teams that consistently win games and concede few goals in return.
Manchester City and strategic midfielder Rodri Hernandez came in mind as the PSL Footballer Of The Season began modeling his game around the Spaniard.
Teboho Mokoena has succeeded with that move after been named 2022-2023 PSL Footballer Of The Season, assist Mamelodi Sundowns lift their sixth Dstv Premiership title in a row and reach the semifinals of the CAF Champions League.
Mokoena, among the top players on the African continent capped an excellent season with Sundowns clinching two PSL awards for the 2022/23 season.
The highly-rated midfielder walked away with the Footballer of the accolade and Midfielder of the Season gong.
Mokoena, an invaluable asset to SA football, featured in 24 DStv Premiership games in the just-ended season with a goal and an assist to his name. In addition, he played 10 games in the CAF Champions League as Sundowns bowed out in the semi-final stage and made three appearances in the MTN8 and one in the Nedbank Cup.
The Bafana Bafana International played a vital role as Sundowns won their sixth consecutive league title; commanding the midfield area.
Following his impressive campaign, Mokoena revealed that Manchester City star Rodri Hernandez is his reference point on the pitch. Rodri, a defensive midfielder like Mokoena, has been one of City’s stand-out players in the 2022/23 season with three goals and seven assists in 54 games.
“Coach Rulani has reminded me throughout the season that my job is to protect the defence so that we concede fewer goals as a team,” said Mokoena.
“I did a lot of work with the coach. I started being interested in Rodri Hernandez and watching Manchester City as well as how he moves and defends.
“In addition, the 26-year-old admitted that Mokwena has played a massive part in his growth and interests as a footballer.
Mokoena further claimed that every player under Mokwena’s guidance has improved their game, while insisting that he works hard to ensure collective outcome of the Tshwane giants is positive as ‘football is a team sport’.
“I would like to relay a special thank you to him [coach Mokwena] and I’m looking forward to next season,” he added.
“I will always do the dirty work for the team, score, and assist when needed, but I know there are players that will do that.
“My job is to protect the team and defend because I know that the players in front of me will score. My target for this season was to play regularly and perform well.”