Mamelodi Sundowns are unhappy with the state in which the club’s players are returning from national duty with Bafana Bafana. Head coach Rhulani Mokwena also expressed displeasure with the lack of communication from the SAFA medical team about player injuries.

“With Bafana players, it’s a very difficult situation because we can’t even communicate with the medical department. We don’t know the itinerary of Bafana. We don’t know the training program of Bafana. We don’t get training feedback in relation to the load. There is no data. So the cooperation with Bafana frustrates us a little bit,” explained Mokwena after watching his team play to 2-2 draw away to AS Maniema Union of the DRC.

Sundowns had to make do without a few of their stars because they came back from the FIFA break with niggling injuries. While admitting his misgivings, Mokoena said this would not affect their commitment to avail players for the national teams.

“Over the years, Sundowns has always shown a willingness to support the nation, support the cause, and release as many personal including support structure. We’ve had Thaso, we’ve had KD, we’ve had Mario, we’ve had Wendell Robinson going there from Sundowns to represent Bafana Bafana. So in relation to the nation’s cause, Sundowns has in certain moments put Bafana ahead of its own cause,” noted Mokwena.

Hugo Broos, the national team coach, has spoken about improving relations between clubs and the Bafana Bafana setup. With Mokwena also voicing concerns, maybe the hierarchy at SAFA and the PSL can coordinate some sort of dialogue around the issues raised by both coaches.

“After the last game, Thapelo(Morena) returned and returned injured. Of course, he returned to fitness, returned to pay but at the moment, he is still not in the right competitive space to be ready. And then you have the situation of Mothuvi Mvala, who is so important to us particularly for this African sojourn with his physicality, his ability to win aerial duels, and his ability to control and combativeness in the midfield, and he comes back from Bafana, and he’s injured,” bemoaned the league winning mentor.

Mokwena also pointed to the injury suffered by defender Rushnie De Rueck in the previous Bafana Bafana camp after he had felt pain during the league game against Swallows FC before leaving for national duty. Thabiso Kutumela also returned jaded from his excursion with the national team, according to Mokwena.

“These are some of the things that disappoint us, but, okay, it is what it is. We have to continue supporting the national cause. It’s just disappointing that the international break, with the load, and we just don’t get any form of response. Not just from the technical team(of SAFA) but from the medical department. Ours is to focus on what we can control. It’s just disappointing that for the last two international breaks, our players have returned with injury complications,” said a concerned Mokwena.

The Choorlkop-based signed is fully focused on dominating African football and will always want their array of stars to be fully available for every battle. Mokwena would like a situation where there is a better relationship between clubs and the national team.

“We have to improve in that space and see how we can get better relations between the clubs- I see Vincent Pule(of Orlando Pirates) is also out. So something is happening in that space, and I’m not quite sure what it is,” stressed Mokwena.

Another international break is coming in November as the load increases for players that play for both club and country. Mokwena will certainly be hoping for zero additions to the Mamelodi Sundowns injury list.