Pop icon Michael Jackson started his music career as a child in the Jackson 5 family band assembled by his father Joe Jackson. Similarly, Township Rollers’ new right back Jackson Lesole was introduced to football as a boy by his father, football coach and ex-pro Jackson Kafusha. Have the local Jacksons unearthed another superstar? We spoke to the 26 year old who recently marked his debut for Popa after making the move from Gaborone United…
“I am very happy to have joined Township Rollers, the biggest club in the country and one of the sides respected on the African continent,” Lesole tells rollersfc.com. “The set up here is very professional; Rollers is at the level of the South African PSL sides, and moving south is no longer a priority for me- although I would not mind playing there, I feel that for me the next step after Rollers should be European club football,” Lesole says.
Marking his official debut for Popa at the weekend against Jwaneng Galaxy at the weekend, having joined the Blues from city rivals GU, Lesole says he managed to blend well with the rest of the team.
“It felt good being in the starting line up in Jwaneng. At Rollers there are so many talented players and you are not guaranteed a place in the line up. It was good to have moved from GU with two former teammates, ‘Teenage’ (Tumisang Orebonye) and ‘TT’ (Thatayaone Ditlhokwe), so we could help each other settle. But they are already established players who have played for the national team, I felt that as an individual I had the most to prove coming here, and thus have to work harder to convince everybody that I deserve my place in the team. We have been well received at the club by the rest of the camp,” Lesole reveals.
Born to a footballing father from the Copperbelt of Zambia and a Motswana mother from Maunatlala, Lesole grew up in Orapa, where he was inspired into the game by his father who once played professional football before coaching sides like Boteti Young Fighters.
“My dad was my biggest inspiration as a child, he always encouraged my football efforts as a child, took me to training and guided me. The fact that he had played in Zambia and abroad also served to inspire me to want to play the game at the highest level,” Lesole says.
Lesole started his organised football career as a teenage schoolboy, playing for White Diamonds in the lower divisions, before later playing in the premier league with Miscellaneous and later Sankoyo Bush Bucks where he was spotted by Gaborone giants GU.
“Playing for a big club such as GU made me feel I was doing something right and I saw it as a stepping stone to even bigger things. Being in the same team with a set of good players, the likes of Mpho Kgaswane and ‘Messi’ (Thatayaone Kgamanyane) helped me to grow as a player,” he adds.
Now, Lesole has joined Rollers which he considers to be the ultimate in domestic club football.
“I feel at Rollers I have the chance to win silverware… I want to win the league and the Top 8, and to play against the best on the continent in the CAF Champions League. This could help me to be spotted by international scouts since I have the ambition of playing in Europe. I also would love to be part of the national team,” Lesole says.
A full back who can both win balls at the back and attack with pace and control, Lesole adds good dimension to the wide areas of the Rollers game.
“I started playing as a winger and was later converted to a wing back, a role I got to love as I was able to both track back to defend as well as go forward to join the attack. Pace is an important part of my game,” he states.
Set to be guided by veterans such as Tshepo ‘Talk Talk’ Motlhabankwe at Rollers, Lesole can look forward to further growth as a player in Popa Blue.
Copyright 2018 The Official Township Rollers FC Website. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.rollersfc.com as the source
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