Almost two seasons ago, top marksman Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi, was a frustrated man and nearly left Mochudi Centre Chiefs to join Gaborone United (GU).
It took the intervention of his family and close friends to convince him to stay at the Kgatleng giants. At the time, Moloi was complaining about lack of game time despite being one of the best strikers in the land. What worried Moloi most was that he was playing regularly for the national Under-23 side and scoring goals.
Chiefs’ chairman Ernest Molome promised him that he will get game time but things did not improve. It was until the arrival of Zimbabwean gaffer Madinda Ndlovu at the beginning of 2011-2012 Be MOBILE Premier League season that his fortunes changed. Ndlovu showed a lot of confidence in the Modipane-born striker as he gave him a nod to lead Chiefs’ attack.
Moloi started banging goals left, right and centre much to the liking of hordes of Chiefs’ fans. All of a sudden, Moloi became a household name and opposition coaches had a nightmare of coming with a plan of stopping him. In January when Moloi was left out of the national team which took part at the African Nations Cup (AFCON) in Gabon, coach Stanley Tshosane came under heavy criticism with football fans wondering why he was left out. Though Tshosane tried to justify his omission, most of the supporters did not buy it.
When speedy winger Joel Mogorosi got injured and was out for almost three months, most people thought Chiefs would struggle but they were wrong. Moloi continued to terrorise opposition defence thus scoring important goals which ensured that Chiefs win their second league title in four years. It came as no surprise that he ended the season as joint top scorer with Mogorosi after rattling the net 26 times. He has started 27 league games missing games against BDF XI, Township Rollers and TAFIC.
At the Premier League Awards on Thursday night, Moloi became the toast of the night when he went home with three awards (Player of the Season, Players’ Players’ of the Season and Green Boot) which saw his bank account boosted with P100,000 for his efforts. It was one of the biggest nights in his footballing career and the one he will cherish in the years to come.
Moments after sweeping the awards, Moloi was still the humble person he has been over the years.
“This is the biggest achievement for me and I’ll not let the success distract me,” said Moloi.
Chiefs’ spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi showered the 25-year-old striker with praises.
“Mara is a talented youngster and I still believe that he can surpass the performance of this season. When we recruited him almost five years ago, his uncle told me that it’s like we have taken four players from his team. That goes to show you how good the boy is when he is focused. I just hope that he works even harder next season and not let this success go to his head.”
Mogomotsi said they are going to ensure that they open the doors for the marksman to play abroad. He said it is up to Moloi to prove to the club that he can play abroad.
“He must know that by winning those awards he is a role model to most people. He must always watch his back not to disappoint those kids back home who look up to him,” he added.
Mogomotsi said his club will do everything possible to protect and guide Moloi because he can easily get influenced negatively by his peers.
Other awards went as follows;
Mogakolodi Ngele (Supporters’ Player of the season), Daniel Nare (Coach of the season), Lekgotla Johannes (Referee of the season), Moletlanyi Keoagile (Assistant referee of the season), Kabelo Monikaso (Commentator of the season), MacDonald Rakgare (Electronic Journalist), Witness Taziba (Print Journalist) and Monirul (Photographer).