The football fraternity has responded with disbelief to the exclusion of Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ top marksman, Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi, from the 26-man Zebras’ squad which will be travelling to Rustenburg, South Africa for a training camp. ┬á
Moloi has been in fine form for his club in the Premier League this season, which has seen him scoring 14 goals in 15 matches he has played. It is his combination with speedster, Joel Mogorosi, which has mesmerised the opposition this season, with Mogorosi netting 22 times in 16 games. It is for this reason that many people thought that when head coach Stanley Tshosane calls his squad for the South African camp, Moloi will be amongst the crew, especially that he has shown potential of scoring goals. His exclusion from the squad has shocked some of his teammates who believe that Moloi has proven beyond means that he is a quality striker.
The fact that Township Rollers’ duo of Onalethata Tshekiso and Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele has been called yet they have not been at their best has even shocked some of the coaches.
“It’s difficult to tell why Stan has not picked the boy because he has been fantastic for his club. It also appears that he is a well-mannered boy, so it is difficult to tell why he is not in the team. OT (Tshekiso) has not been at his best but he is in the team, to me this is a surprise,” said one of the local coaches.
When contacted for comment, Tshosane admitted that Moloi’s exclusion is debatable but pointed out that he had his reasons.
“We’ve got different opinions when it comes to the squad’s selection. I’ve been listening to different radio stations saying lots of things and I’m not the kind of person who discusses selections in the media. I’ve always said that my door is open and I’m only going to work with those players who are willing to do the job for me,” said Tshosane on Monday.
He further pointed out that he has called Moloi for camp thrice in the past but he decided not to honour them without any valid reasons. Tshosane added that there are some players who acted in the same manner like Moloi but they have since written apology letters and they have been considered.
“There is no doubt that Mara is a good striker. I’ve always wanted to work with him but it seems he’s not willing. In the past, I’ve even asked my manager to talk to Chiefs’ officials about him. The first time I was told he was not well, the second and third camps, I’ve not received a word,” added Tshosane.
Chiefs’ communications officer, Clifford Mogomotsi, was equally surprised by Moloi’s omission. He said that they want to believe that national team players are chosen based on form at that particular time.
“We’re going to encourage the boy to continue putting his head up and not let his omission distract his focus,” added Mogomotsi.
He denied Tshosane’s claims that Moloi was called for camp in the past but never showed up.┬áHe said that at Chiefs, they always encourage their players to go for national duty because it is for their own benefit.
Efforts to get a comment from Moloi hit a snag as his phone rang unanswered.
A source close to the player said that Moloi was disturbed by the Zebras’ snub.
“He’s hurt because he has been doing well at Chiefs,” said the source. “There are some players in the squad who do not deserve to be there but they’re included. I don’t agree when the coach┬ásaid that he once called him and he absconded. Tshosane has to pick players based on form but not on history.”