After establishing himself as a perennial golden boot contender, Malepa Bolelang seems to be losing his goal scoring instincts.
This season, he has only seen the back of the net four times. Last season he was nowhere close to the front runners, managing a mere 12 goals. However, at the start of the season, he had been out of action, thanks to knee injury he had sustained when ECCO were playing GU, and subsequently missed around 9 matches. His coming back from injury suffered another blow when most of the team’s midfielders also suffered some long term injuries.
This meant the burly striker had to fill up the vacuum in the midfield, thereby hurting his own chances of becoming the league’s top goal scorer. While he may not be scoring regularly, he has been assisting his team mates get goals.
In the 2006-07 season, he was voted player of the season and walked away with the Golden Boot Award after netting 24 times. The following season, he came a distant third, with 18 goals to Pontsho Moloi and Tshepiso Molwantwa’s 22 and 21 goals, respectively. The striker, who is reputed for creating goals out of nothing, is feared by most defenders and goal keepers, as he keeps them on their toes with his scintillating runs and a bull’s eye accuracy. Somehow he is always at the right place at the right time and he is always ready to capitalize on any mistake in the box.
The fearsome goal poacher vowed to Sunday Standard that this season he will go back to the top of his game, adding that, barring unforeseen circumstances, he will definitely come out tops.
“I am not perturbed that I am currently nowhere near the current goal scorer,” he said confidently. He also revealed that he has nothing more special than other local strikers.
The likes of Tshokolo Nkola and Master Masiku might just be the right men to help Malepa achieve his best. Masiku is credited for having brought the best out of last season’s joint top goal scorer, Master Masitara, when still at Nico United, while Tshokolo Nkola is known to be Malepa’s reliable supplier. The duo’s presence means Malepa will be given a license to reign as he pleases in front of goal. His compatriots upfront, Mandlaenkosi Sibanda and Robert Tamba, are also a torrid pair and defenders usually find themselves overwhelmed.
On his way up the Golden Boot ladder, Malepa will have to beat with the habitual scoring exploits of Terrence Mandaza (Township Rollers), Pontsho Moloi, Mpho Mabogo, Jomo Matlhaping (Centre Chiefs) and many others who have been impressive this season.
Another tough hurdle lies in some of the less known players, like Thato Gaokgorwe of BDF XI and Nengomashi of GNT. It’s also yet to be seen if Masitara will come out of his cave and defend the golden boot he won last season alongside Jerome Ramatlhakwana who is now at Cape Town Santos in South Africa.