Friday, January 15, 2021

Meet your Premier League team of the season

Mochudi Centre Chiefs are closing in on the championship after what has been a scintillating season for them. With the league title almost decided, Sunday Standard reporter TSHEPO MOLWANE picks eleven players who have been outstanding for their clubs this season.
 
Michael Pepukani
What a season it has been for this young custodian in between the sticks for Matebele, a down to earth player who has saved BDF XI with some fine goalkeeping this season. Just like previous goalkeepers, like Thabo Motang, Lesego Moeng and Motswadi Motswadi, Pepukani has not allowed his height and small body frame to disadvantage him. His exploits for Matebele have seen him relegate former Naughty Boys’ goalkeeper Basimanebotlhe Moilwa to the bench. He has won a couple of Man of the Match awards along the way. Unfortunately, he has not attracted the attention of national team coach Stanley Tshosane as much as one would have thought.
 
Tshepo Motlhabankwe
After Zebras’ disastrous campaign at the African Nations Cup in January, most people said that the soft-spoken defender has reached the ceiling. That was an unfortunate ceiling because Motlhabankwe has continued to put in some sterling performances for Mochudi Centre Chiefs as they push for their second league title in four seasons. A vocal defender who can either play at right back or central defence, he has been a true leader for Magosi.
 
Otlantshekela Mooketsi
This is going to be a surprise choice to football commentators but this highly-underrated left-back has been consistent for his club BDF XI, unlike other players in his position. A clean defender who hardly gets into the referees’ books, he has also contributed immensely when going forward.
A good crosser of the ball.
 
Thabiso Khunwane
He was dropped earlier this year from Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ starting line-up after his side drew 3-3 against ECCO City Greens in Francistown. The reason which led to him being dropped remains a mystery as he has been consistent for Magosi at the heart of the defence since the season kicked off. Khunwane cannot become a bad defender over 90 minutes and he was rightly called back to stabilize the defence the previous weekend when results were not coming. Since he is still young, Khunwane is the one for the future.
 
Oscar Ncenga
A hardworking defender who has been unfortunate not to be picked for the national team despite his performances since the 2011-2012 Premier League season kicked off. He has given Rollers shape at the back and hardly gets into the referees’ books. Ncenga has formed an uncompromising combination with Agisanyang Ramaabya since he arrived from Notwane in January.
 
Elvis Meleka
He gets the nod ahead of Gaborone United’s Ofentse Nato and Zecco Makafiri of ECCO City Greens in the holding role. When he made his debut for Mochudi Centre Chiefs in August last year, one could tell this Zimbabwean-born midfielder has something special. Despite playing with an injury on that day, he was influential as he helped his side thrash their blood rivals 5-2. Since then, he has not put his foot wrong, playing in all the 26 games Chiefs have played this season. He allows Chiefs’ attackers to go forward without worrying much about defending. Occasionally, Meleka has popped up to score some crucial goals for Magosi this season.
 
Joel Mogorosi
Though he has missed Chiefs’ five games after the African Nations Cup due to an injury, there is no doubt that Mogorosi has been influential for the Kgatleng giants. Before he got injured, Mogorosi had netted 22 goals as Chiefs mesmerized the opposition every weekend. When he bounced back from the injury against Miscellaneous last month, he did not show any signs of rustiness. He even scored on the day much to the delight of their supporters.
 
Jackie Mothatego
His other name is Lesedi (Light). He has provided light for the youthful Uniao Flamengo Santos’ side when things were going tough for them in most of the games. He leads by example in the middle of the park and has scored important goals along the way. A disciplined character who has seen it all in his playing career which has taken him to Notwane and Police XI. His leadership qualities are going to be needed when they challenge to consolidate their place in the Premier League.
 
Kekaetswe Moloi
Those who adore the lanky striker call him ‘Simply the Best’ or ‘Mara’. After almost five seasons playing a cameo role at Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Mara has shown that patience pays as he has been rewarded with a starting position this season. Coach Madinda Ndlovu has shown a lot of confidence in a player who has rattled the net 23 times (before their league game against Nico United yesterday).┬á A typical box striker whose strength has given the opposition a hard time this campaign. His omission from the national team which went to the African Nations Cup caused uproar but he has not let that disturb his focus. At the age of 25, he still has more goals in his boots if he remains focused. Without doubt, he deserves the be MOBILE Premier League Player of the Season. He has not only scored goals this season but he has also created for his teammates.
 
Mogakolodi Ngele
Since moving to Township Rollers in August, he has not produced the form he was known for when he was still at Flamengo Santos. Despite that, Ngele has continued to show his quality in Rollers’ colours contributing immensely this season. It is his combination with teammate Sekhana Koko which has traumatized the opposition in most cases. His performance at the African Nations Cup got the country talking. He recently returned from a 10-day stint at South African Premier League side Platinum Stars.
 
Galabgwe Moyana
This young man has enjoyed a huge vein of form this season. His runs and trickery on the left wing have made him a marvel to watch. He has scored and created goals for Mochudi Centre Chiefs which has ensured that they find themselves at the summit of the log currently. He is one of the best free-kick specialists in our league.

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