The much talked about transfer window has already been closed and all eyes are now on the league as teams are gearing up for the new season that starts next weekend. Most teams bolstered their squads ahead of what looks like a grueling season. Some of the players that made headlines and raised eyebrows include none other than Bernard Simakwenzi, Mpho Mabogo, Tshepho ‘Talk Talk’ Motlhabankwe, Thato Siska, Mmusa Ohilwe and Moreetsi Mosimanyana.
Simakwenzi so far looks to be the scoop of the season because almost every coach in the country would like to have a striker of his caliber. He surprised many people by leaving a team that stood by him in difficult times when his former team, BDF XI, had running battles with his current one, Township Rollers. Although his team lost in his full debut against champions, Ecco City Green, in the semi-finals of Coca-Cola Cup, Simakwenzi proved his mettle that he is still on top of his game. When he joined Rollers, he made it clear by not promising anything but to try his best and help the club to achieve something. If his performance against Ecco City is any yardstick, Simakwenzi has already sent warning signals to the opposite defenders and his goal was a well executed one. He might be the next Joseph Chikoti, a former Rollers striker whose boots are yet to be filled. Chikoti was lethal and his skills were even recognised by South African teams where he ended up joining Premier League side, Wits University. What gives Simakwenzi an upper hand is his height which leaves most short defenders in embarrassment.
Mabogo also left BDF XI when least expected. Mabogo grew up under army teams and was one of the well paid players. He even rewarded his team by always playing to his utmost best. Mabogo is arguably the best striker in the Premier league whose off the ball runs are awesome. He also has a huge body that he easily controls. What separates him from fellow local strikers is also his ability to force his way between the defenders regardless of how well manned they are. Nevertheless, Mabogo also faces stiff competition from fellow strikers like the newly signed Thato Siska, Pontsho Moloi, Kekaetswe Moloi and Jerome Ramatlhakwane. Mabogo must, however, be prepared to absorb and handle pressure that always comes with teams like Mochudi Centre Chiefs. At BDF there was no pressure at all regardless of whether they were on a winning spree or on a downward spiral.
Another player whose move was unexpected and sent shockwaves across the soccer fraternity was Tshepo Motlhabankwe. Motlhabankwe left Lobtrans Gunners for Centre Chiefs after close to seven years of loyal service. Motlhabankwe is a player to watch because he is an anchorman who can rip apart any team. At Centre Chiefs, he fitted in like a glove. Taking into consideration that another fellow Chiefs striker, Aaron Kale, is more of a mobility player they can make a deadly combination.
Motlhabankwe is also a player who suits modern football. He can defend, destroy and surge forward once he finds a chance and, in addition, he bangs in goals.
Another talented player who might find the going tough is Thato Siska. Many people did not expect him to leave Uniao Gabane Santos after giving him a chance following a long layoff through injury. He did not disappoint at Santos and banged many important goals that lifted Santos out of the relegation zone into the comfort zone. Siska lacks aggressiveness that other strikers, like Mabogo, have.
Ohilwe’s move to Township Rollers was also not expected by many BMC followers. BMC gave him a life line and he ended up winning a regular place in the national under 23. He is also seen as the next captain of the senior team, the Zebras.
Unfortunately for him, the Zebras’ defence is a hard nut to crack and is made up of experienced guys. But should anything happen, he would surely be in the team. Ohilwe is also seen to have stabilised the Rollers defence and he might also lead Rollers to unprecedented success.
Another player who looks set to make it big in the Premier League is Police XI defender, Moreetsi Mosimanyana. Mosimanyana who was playing in the second division for Orapa Bucs, found his way into the national team and has established himself as a future prospect. His move to Police XI was also not expected because he grew up playing for BDF XI’s feeder side, Matebejane. Other people even thought he would opt for popular teams like Mochudi Centre Chiefs or Township Rollers. Mosimanyana has also robust tackles which most local defenders lack. No matter how physical the opposition strikers are, he always stands his ground.