Silver Stars new recruit, Phenyo “Mzambiya” Mongala, had a stormer against Township Rollers last weekend at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, in Phokeng, South Africa.
Mongala, who was playing against his former team for the first time since leaving the Botswana shores two months ago, was at his usual best after coming on as a second half substitute.
Alongside his new teammates, Joel Luphahla and Mark Mcveigh, the nimble footed player came out of that game with some credit.
Mongala’s main weapon was tying the opposition in knots with his dribbling and pace, but perhaps it was his crosses that sometimes let him down. His ability to cut inside from his left midfield berth and take opponents out of the game was at the root of most of Silver Stars’ forays.
One of his senior teammates, Willem Jackson, who has the experience of featuring for South Africa at the 1998 World Cup in France, told Sunday Standard Sport after the game that Mongala was a menace to any defender.
“He is absolutely frightening. You cannot deal with him one on one in attack. He is so skilled but perhaps he should work on his defending,” said Jackson.
Silver Stars anchorman, Stanley Kgatla, said that there is a lot of comment from people about the two Stars players from Botswana. (The other one is Moemedi Moatlhaping).
“These days most people come to our training sessions to watch because of the skills of Mongala. They think he is even better than Jabu Pule.
The other of his teammates, Koketso Mmotong, who did not feature in that game, told Sunday Standard Sport that no one wants to face Mongala at training sessions because he will turn you into a laughing stock with his trickery on the ball.
“What I like about the two of them (Mongala and Moatlhaping) is that they can take praise as well as criticism. They are really grounded guys and a good catch for our team,” said Mmotong.
Silver Stars coach, Owen “Rubber Doll” Da Gama, however, refuses to over praise his new weapon.
“Phenyo is multi-talented but sometimes he needs to curb the tendency to over-elaborate and concede possession too cheaply. People have not seen the best out of Mzambiya.
Give me two years with this boy then the World will be on the edges of their seats,” said Da Gama.
Da Gama heaved praises for his other recruit Moatlhaping.
“He is a complete player. His tactical awareness is sound. He has explosive pace and also an eye for goal. He is absolutely massive. You can see him tracking back and tackling when we lose possession. He is not just about getting forward, defensively he also gets stuck in,” said Da Gama.