Monday, January 27, 2020

Johnson’s arrival marks the return of Ngele

Undoubtedly one of the best attacking midfielders in the South African ABSA premiership, Mogakolodi Ngele’s football career has gained yet another lifeline following the arrival of gaffer Cavin Johnson at Limpopo based Black Leopards.

After warming the bench, sidelined and watching from the stands for the better part of the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season, the Botswana international has featured in all matches under the tutelage of Johnson since his arrival.

Playing against Chippa United and Highlands Park this year, Ngele was introduced in the second half of both matches. The midfield maestro’s touches on the ball showed glimpse of class when introduced despite his side losing both matches.

Since the start of the season, this week Ngele made his fourth appearance for Lidoda Duvha as Black Leopards is affectionately since signing for the side at the start of the season.

Living dangerously in the relegation battle after 16 outings, Leopards are sitting on the 13th spot on the log table, just two points separating the side and bottom placed Baroka FC. Leopards registered a single win, drew once and lost three consecutive matches in their last five encounters.

With the recent sacking of former French gaffer Lionel Soccoia, the club is yet to register a win in the two matches marshalled by Johnson.

During the 2012/13 ABSA premiership season, Ngele made a debut for Platinum Stars steered by Johnson when the then inexperienced lanky midfielder made a name for himself scoring 10 goals on his maiden season.

At the time, Platinum Stars were amongst ABSA premiership title contenders missing out of championship with a single point behind champions Kaizer Chiefs. When Johnson parted ways with Platinum Stars the following season, Ngele’s form declined under the Tutelage of Allan Freese who mostly used Ngele as an impact player with limited game time.

It was in the 2014/15 season when Johnson returned to Platinum Stars to save the side from the relegation battle and reuniting with Ngele again. His return marked yet another lifeline for Ngele as he emerged one of the favorites making strides back into the first team with one of the highlights being a hat

trick against Soweto giants Orlando Pirates when they played to a three all draw in the highly contested encounter.

Following his professional debut in 2013, Johnson has been one of the instrumental coaches guiding the lanky midfielder to play at his best. Plying his trade in the ABSA premiership, Ngele has made appearances for the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits since invading the PSL. It was at the Pretoria based Sundowns where Ngele’s career suffered a blow as he was one of the unused players to sign at the star studded club.

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