Lebohang Mokoena might have had a torrid time on the field during his stint with the now-defunct Ajax Cape Town, but Cheeseboy reveals how he helped groom the potential showed by three Mamelodi Sundowns stars.
Mokoena endured a tough period in his career after parting ways with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016. After initially struggling to find a club, the veteran then joined Ajax – but his stay at the club was unpleasant, as he saw a dip in game-time following the exit of then coach Roger De Sa, who initially recruited him to the club.
Speaking to Soccer Laduma in edition 1224, the 34-year-old details how he played his part in grooming the talents of Rivaldo Coetsee, Grant Margerman and Mosa Lebusa, who have all joined the Brazilians after parting ways with the Urban Warriors.
“I went down to Ajax because I had worked with coach Roger (de Sa) in the SA U23 team. He was impressed with me after working with him for a week in training, but he wanted me to work on my fitness because I had not been playing for a long time at Sundowns.
“Unfortunately, Roger resigned, and Stanley Menzo took charge. I was not given an opportunity to play, together with Abel Mabaso, who is at Pirates now.
“I just kept on training and helped some of the players like (Grant) Margeman, Rivaldo Coetzee, Mosa Lebusa, because those were the players who had the potential at that club. For me, it was about giving them an idea of what happens outside of Ajax in terms of a football career and I’m glad that they are competing at the highest level and are playing for one of the big clubs in the country. I’d say that off the field, I played my part in advising and guiding the boys,” Mokoena explained.
The Swallows FC captain rolled back the years this season, playing 25 games for the Birds after helping them win the GladAfrica Championship to gain promotion to the top flight last season.
In this week's edition, Mokoena also discusses:
- His struggles to find a PSL club
- Why he joined a lower division team
- Earning peanuts in the lower tiers