Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ midfield dynamo, Dirang ‘Malam’ Moloi, has been showing some signs of his old form since the be MOBILE Premier League season kicked off last month. It is creativity in the middle of the park which has seen him helping his club shoot to the top of the log.
His performances have forced the nation to call for his inclusion in the national team to face Mali in the 2013 African Nations Cup (AFCON) qualifier which was played at Lobatse Sports Complex yesterday.
National team gaffer, Stanley Tshosane, heeded the call and included the talented midfielder in the squad. Typical of Dirang, after learning that he had been included in the squad, he declined the invitation. This was the second time the youngster turned down the invitation in less than a month.
“I’m humbled that the coach included me in the squad. I would have liked to be part of the team but I felt I was not ready. Playing for the Zebras comes with a lot of pressure and I didn’t want to disappoint the nation by not performing to their expectations,” said Moloi.
He added that he will be available for the next camp if the national team coach still needs his services.
“Let me make it clear that it’s not that I don’t want to play for the national team. I felt that those who started the campaign should finish it,” he continued.
Chiefs’ publicity officer, Clifford Mogomotsi, said that if Moloi felt that he was not yet ready to honour national call-up, there was no need to force him. He said that at Chiefs they may be impressed by his displays but he is the one who knows his potential. “We’ve been impressed by his commitment at club level but playing for the national team is something different,” said Mogomotsi.
His absence from the Zebras has denied the team his magic which has helped Magosi to look like an invisible side. Many commentators believe that the current Zebras’ squad needs his intelligence to create opportunities for the strikers like he does at club level. Tshosane has admitted that the young Moloi is a special player but pointed out the need to respect his decision.
“We’ve a policy where the manager communicates with the players (who are called for camps) and some of them would give different reasons for not coming. I’ve gone to the extent of going to Dirang’s house but if he does not want to be part of the team there is little we can do,” Tshosane told the journalists.
Zebras’ captain Mompati ‘Apache’ Thuma shared the same sentiments with Mogomotsi and Tshosane that they need to respect Dirang’s decision.
“He has said that he is not ready for the national team and we need to respect that,” Thuma chipped in.
According to some sources close to the issue, Moloi will continue to snub the Zebras as long as the current technical team remains in charge.
“We need to show him that he is important to the team as much as (David) Bright did with him when he was still in charge of Under-23. Maybe Tshosane feels that he cannot kneel down to Dirang but there are players who need special attention. We lack creativity in the team yet we have a player who excels in that position week in and week out for his club,” said a Premier League coach who wanted to remain anonymous.