When speedy winger Joel ’16’ Mogorosi dumped defending league champions, Township Rollers, for Mochudi Centre Chiefs during the January transfer window, little did he know what awaited him.
Despite the fact that he was a free agent as his three-year contract with Mapalastina ended in December 2010, Rollers refused to release his registration book to Chiefs, claiming that he belongs to South African football giants, Orlando Pirates.
Until the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Players’ Status Committee ruled in his favour to join Chiefs on Monday, Mogorosi has watched from the sidelines for almost six weeks while both clubs engaged in a war of words.
After making his debut against his former employers in the top-of-the-table clash at UB Stadium yesterday, Mogorosi said he is a relieved man that his dream move has finally materialised.
“I’m happy that finally I’ve been cleared to play for Chiefs. I didn’t want to end up in a situation whereby I spend six weeks without playing. The weeks I’ve been waiting for the outcome (of the case) were the most frustrating in my football career,” he said.
Mogorosi said he fails to understand why Rollers made claims that he is a Pirates’ player when he has been playing under Mapalastina contract for the past three years.
The Kanye-born winger said that while he was at Rollers, he never heard from the South African giants.
“There is no doubt that in 2008, I went to Pirates because they had shown an interest in me. But while I was there, things didn’t go accordingly and I returned to Rollers. I expected Rollers to let me go to Chiefs without any hassles because I served them whole heartedly over the years. There is nobody who can tell me that I was not committed when playing for Rollers,” he added.
Mogorosi further told Sunday Standard that Rollers might have refused with his clearance because they did not see the move coming. Despite the problems, he says he holds no grudges against anyone at Rollers.
“I’ve made lots of friends at Rollers and everyone treated me nicely. I had a healthy relationship with almost every player and that’s why I sat down with them (players) explaining my situation. I’m happy they understood and have continued to do well without my services,” he continued.
The speedy winger says he is aware of the challenges which face him at the star-studded Chiefs’ side but is confident that, with hard work in training, he would soon command a starting place in the team.
Mogorosi does not blame people who dubbed his move as the most ridiculous in recent times, considering that Rollers seem to be running away with the league title. Before their clash with Chiefs yesterday, Rollers were enjoying a seven point lead over Chiefs at the top of the table.
“It’s true it’s a strange move considering the hard work I’ve put to help Rollers lead the table, but it’s something I had to do. I was out of contract and Chiefs approached me with a good offer and I took it. This is a gamble I had to take and I’m not regretting it at all,” he said.
The former Mapalastina skipper said that it is going to take a miracle to displace Rollers at the top of the table. His reason is that Rollers’ players like to win and having led the standings for seven months, there is a slim chance that they will be displaced.
“I came here (to Chiefs) not thinking about winning the league this season. I’m here to be part of the Chiefs’ family because they want to achieve big things in the future. I’m glad that everyone in the team welcomed me well and what is left is for me to work hard,” he said.
His dream is to score a few goals before the end of the season having scored 12 goals before he left Rollers.
Mogorosi dismissed speculations that he is one the most difficult players in Botswana football. He pointed out that while at Rollers, he was close to everyone and has never heard the management complaining about his attitude.
“I would like to thank Rollers’ family for having been good to me over the years. I have achieved a lot through their support and they will always remain close to my heart. I know they’re hurt and some of them do not understand why I left, but this is part of the game. As for Chiefs’ supporters, they must know that I’m coming with a winning mentality, which will see us through in the coming games,” he concluded.