Mochudi Centre Chiefs are, without question, the team of the moment. Their medals cabinet is currently too shiny with three major trophies, namely the Premier League championships, Kabelano and Coca-Cola Cup.
Undoubtedly, the success at the Kgatleng-based club was actually bought because they acquired many good players around the country, much to the discontent of other teams.
Chiefs’ successful road to the top was, however, not a smooth one but a mammoth one, riddled by controversies. By the time chiefs started to go around looking for players, they broke the tradition of certain teams and acquired players that were deemed sons to their respective teams.
Many people did not think that players like Tshepho Motlhabankwe, Mpho Mabogo, Gobonyeone Selefa and Jomo Moatlhaping would leave their respective teams for the Kgatleng outfit.
Motlhabankwe played for Extension Gunners for some time and endured all the pain the team went through for many years and many were shocked to hear that he had left for Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Selefa was also regarded as the son of Notwane and his departure to Centre Chiefs left a void that is still difficult to fill.
Mabogo, on the other hand, played for an army team, BDF XI, for a long time and was well looked after by the club. He even won many titles and scored many crucial goals. He also once publicly said it would take a miracle for him to leave the army side where he had a deadly combination with Bernard Simakwenzi, who is currently at Township Rollers.
After his short spell with South African side, Platinum Stars, Moatlhaping came straight to the team that exposed him to international soccer, Township Rollers. He has since left for Mochudi Centre Chiefs and many people thought he would solve his problems with Rollers amicably before deciding to leave for Chiefs.
Chiefs’ acquisition of players, however, caused a lot of tiffs with other teams which, at times, even went physical and ended up at customary courts.
Chiefs have also never been short of controversies that involved money owed to the players and some companies that Chiefs allegedly did not pay after taking goods on credit.
Last year, while they were still leading the table during the first round, players were seen at the manager’s office demanding money, saying the team officials were playing hide and seek with them. The issue then just disappeared.
During the January transfer window the team was at it again. At the time, it was reported that many players wanted to leave for a variety of reasons. The situation was serious to the extent that some of the players were always seen in the company of officials of rival teams, but the situation was eventually brought under control and the team went on to win the league.
Immediately after the historic league championships, controversy marred the team again and it was reported to be financial mismanagement by the team. Certain team officials were reportedly not accounting for a lot of money and that led to the division of the executive committee.
Team chairman, Ernest Molome, ended up resigning only to come back a little latter.
Immediately after the Coca-Cola campaign, money issues engulfed the team again. Many players were reportedly owed a lot of money and boycotted training before given their dues.
Centre chiefs spin doctor, Cliford Mogomotsi, told Sunday Standard that the team has challenges like any other team but their detractors always blew things out of proportion.
“There have been cooked stories about us but we did not make any noise about it and did our talking in the field of play. If actually what was always said was true, we would not even have won a single tournament. Now we have three of which two are the major ones,” he said.
Mogomotsi also said, having been in football for some time, they are used to such negative reports. He added that people started to be even more negative towards them after the results started coming in. He vowed that the team would soldier on and defend their titles.