Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has revealed some information about the club’s on-loan goalkeeper who’s still in the books of the Brazilians. Wondering the name? It’s Uganda international Ismail Watenga who currently plays for Chippa United.
What’s the story? Watenga was signed by Bafana Bastyle in 2020 on a three-year contract after he impressed the coaches a in a trial. He was then sent out on loan so that he would get more game time considering the competition between the sticks with the sophisticated Kennedy Mweene and Denis Onyango being preferred than other goalkeepers.
Mokwena who’s currently in Uganda at Kampala Capital City Authority FC (KCCA FC) to share his expertise in football told the Ugandan website Football256 that Sundowns invested in Watenga.
“We like Watenga so much and we have tried to invest in him. We sent him out to Chippa to get more playing time,” Rulani told Football256.
“He started reasonably well but unfortunately, he did not get much playing time towards the end but I believe that was due to the change of coaches at Chippa which disturbed his momentum a little bit. Watenga is a very good goalkeeper with very good attributes, his agility is excellent, his speed and shot-stopping are very good and maybe he only needs to improve when it comes to build-up play,” he added.
Mokwena also told the story of Denis Onyango who’s also a former Cranes number goalkeeper and captain that he was loaned several times before he returned to take the goalkeeper number spot at Masandawana. The former SuperSport United goalie was signed by Sundowns in 2011 but loaned to Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits prior to his rise.
“Watenga’s desire should be to follow in Onyango’s footsteps because he has got a huge potential and hopefully he can be at the club and play. As far as Onyango is concerned it took him time to stamp his position at Mamelodi. We all remember that he went to Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits on loan before he came back and became Sundowns’ number one goalkeeper.”
“He came back and he has been very successful and maybe Watenga’s success lies in the journey of Onyango and he will need to pick up a little bit more from what Onyango went through,” Rulani said.
It remains to be seen whether the 27-year-old will be part of the Yellow Nation in the 2022/23 DStv Premiership season.