Dumped, useless and heartbroken.
That is how former Gaborone United (GU) midfielder, Bakang ‘Sdoli’ Moeng, felt almost 16 months ago after he was injured in a friendly game against BDF XI at SSKB Stadium in Mogoditshane.
The nippy Moeng suffered a broken shin after he clashed with BDF XI midfielder, Thato Ogopotse.
Little did he know the pain he would go through thereafter. At the time of the injury, he was regarded as one of the best passers of the ball in Botswana football at the age of 22.
It was his sublime skills which tore opponents apart on his good day. His move to GU in June 2011 attracted a lot of attention from the fans and they believed that it was at the Reds where he turned into a ‘complete’ star.
Supporters could not have guessed that within a couple of months, their star would be on the crutches and with his career on the rocks.
When he was ferried to hospital, some fans at the army barracks were left in tears wondering at the extent of his injury.
Since he was injured, Moeng said he realised that some people only care about you when you are still at the height of your career.
“That injury has taught me a lot and I think I’ll be a strong both mentally and physically when I make a comeback. My life was messed up because even people whom I thought were my friends disappeared. I was left on my own something which even affected my studies because I had to rely on people to move around. I felt completely useless,” said Moeng in a touching interview on Friday morning.
Moeng pointed out that he has been on medical treatment regularly in order to heal properly.
“It has been a tough period for me but I would like to thank all those who have supported me,” he added.
He said that it was the love and support which he got from Zebras’ midfielder, Dirang Moloi, which touched him most.
Before the injury he knew Dirang through football only and they hardly talked, he said.
“As much as there are lots of people who supported me but his interest in my injury shocked me. We were not friends but the fact that he decided to support both emotionally and financially meant a lot. I realised that he (Dirang) is a nice person who cares about others irrespective of stature,” said the 24-year-old midfielder.
When contacted for comment, Moloi said that he decided to help because Moeng is one of the rare talents to come out of Botswana.
Moloi added that it was touching to see such a talent hapless.
“He tells the truth that before the injury we were not close. I’m a footballer and I know what he can do once he has recovered hence I stepped in. I helped out of good faith not that I would want anything from him tomorrow. All I want to see is for him enjoying the game again and possibly earning a move to professional ranks. I know some people might say I’m say I’m crazy but it is possible,” he pointed out.
At the time when he got injured, Moeng was enjoying his football career having achieved his childhood dream of donning the famous red and white jersey.
“That injury hurt me so much because I was starting to enjoy my career at GU. I was looking forward to the challenge because there I was competing with some of the finest players in Botswana football.
At the moment I’m focusing on getting back into shape and if all goes according to play I think in August I should be able to play competitive football again,” he said.
It is expected that very soon the Pitsane-born star will start jogging and attending the gym.
Since the 2013-14 Premier League season is only left with 10 games, he believes that will give him a chance to fight back to fitness and focus on the future.
It was Moeng’s outstanding performances from the middle of the park which helped Santos lift the Coca-Cola Cup in 2009.
Some of the names which were in the Santos’ team at the time were Thato Bolweleng (Township Rollers), Mogakolodi Ngele (Platinum Stars, SA), Boitshoko Zikhale (BMC) Godfrey Ngele (Township Rollers), Thapelo Sethebethe just to name a few.
That team will be best remembered of crushing favourites Mochudi Centre Chiefs 5-2 in the semi-finals on their way to glory.