Alongside crowd favourite Tshepo ‘Skhwama’ Matete who has set the domestic football scene alight, another South African import joined Popa at the beginning of the season- centre forward Mthokozisi Msomi.
Settling into the Rollers team and the Botswana club environment has been a gradual process, but Msomi expresses the feeling of ‘contentment’ and is grateful for the support he gets from the club.
“Strikers are primarily judged by goals,” he tells rollersfc.com in a wide-ranging interview. “So yes, I want to be scoring more, but then there is the overall contribution that I am already making to the team- winning balls, making assists, creating space for others. If I am not under pressure, and keep working the goals will come. Thankfully the coach and technical team have been very supportive, we still have a long season to go, and I will have time to settle more.”
Although Msomi was not a regular in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) earlier in his career at Bidvest Wits, he trained there daily along the likes of Hedrico Botes, Christopher Katongo and Sithembiso Ngcobo. After a few loan spells, he tasted PSL and NFD action at Jomo Cosmos.
Now at Popa, he feels several of the club’s stars- Mosha Gaolaolwe, Simisani Mathumo, Segolame Boy and Lemponye ‘FC’ Tshireletso in particular, are good enough to make an impact if in the PSL.
“We have some really good players at Rollers, and it would be unfair to single out names. There are players like Mosha, Simi, Boy, FC…there is JJ (Jerome Ramatlhakwana) as well…who can all do well in the PSL,” Msomi says.
Born on September 4 1991, Msomi spent his early childhood in KwaMashu, Durban, before his family moved to Johannesburg, settling in Protea Glen, Soweto.
“I started playing football ko kasi (in the township). I then got into the Wits development team. I ended up signing for the Bidwest Wits senior team. In my position you had the big names like Christopher Katongo, Henrico Botes and Sithembiso Ngcobo. I ended up going on loan to lower division sides,” he says.
After spells at Roses United, Cape Town All Stars and Milano United, Msomi’s close friend, Jomo Cosmos captain Linda Mntambo recommended Msomi to club chairman Jomo Sono.
“It was my friend ‘Figo’ (Mntambo) who told Cosmos about me. Although I had been playing for different sides on loan, I had remained a Wits player, so when Bra J (Sono) expressed interest, Cosmos signed me from Wits. I got to play there for a season in the PSL, and another in the NFD,” he recalls.
After the expiration of his one and a half year contract with Cosmos, Msomi signed for Rollers, coming into the Botswana Premier League.
“Rollers is a great club, it is very well organized; it feels good to be here, and I have settled well, I am content. The league is also very competitive; it is a lot better than the impression people have of it outside of Botswana. Once you are here playing, you get to see that it is harder than some may think,” he says.
Msomi’s immediate ambition is to win silverware with Popa.
“We have our ambitions as a team; we want to stay top by the Christmas break, and then go on to win the league, the Mascom Top 8 and to do well in the CAF Champions League. But we are going to take it one game at a time until we meet those objectives,” Msomi says.
Having just turned 26 last September, Msomi believes he still has a lot to contribute to the game of football.
“For now I want to establish my career at Rollers. It would be great to move abroad to Europe before going back home to South Africa, where one day I’d like to concentrate on the transport business once my football career is over,” Msomi says.
Copyright 2017 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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