JOHANNESBURG - Mwape Musonda insists that goals will not dry up for him in the Premiership with Black Leopards like they did for previous National First Division (NFD) Golden Boot winners.
Reason Chiloane, Ndumiso Mabena, Sedwyn George, Thabiso Kutumela, Phumelele Bhengu, David Zulu and David Radebe all received the prize in the first division but couldn’t emulate that form in topflight football to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot or even put up a serious fight for it.
But the Zambian forward, who was previously on the books of Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates, is confident he will buck that trend after firing Leopards into the Premier Division.
Musonda scored 15 goals in the NFD to help Lidoda Duvha finish second, behind champions Highlands Park, and book a place in the promotion play-offs.
The 27-year-old scored four goals in three matches of the three-team mini-league that saw Leopards fight it out with Jomo Cosmos and Platinum Stars. Those 15 goals earned him the Golden Boot award which he shared with Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park.
Musonda didn’t score against Cosmos on Wednesday at Thohoyandou Stadium but he had a hand in the goal that took Lidoda Duvha back to the Promised Land after five seasons in the NFD.
“It feels great as a striker to score goals,” Musonda said. “Most of the goals that I scored helped the team throughout the season to get to the play-offs. In the play-offs I scored goals that made sure that we’re promoted. It was good to get the NFD top goalscorer award.
"I would like to take this form to the PSL. We’ll see how it goes. Inasmuch as there is a gap between the NFD and the PSL in terms of the standard of football, but it’s football at the end of the day.
"I think that I am ready. I have been there before and I am happy to be going there back again with Leopards, a team I have made my home. I think that it would be easier for me to score as many goals as I can in the PSL because I am home.”
Despite attracting interest from suitors with deeper pockets than Leopards, Musonda plans to stick with the side from Limpopo.
“This is my home,” Musonda said. “In the two seasons I have spent here, this has become home. I’ll see. I’ll see how things will go but I would like to stay and help the team stay up in the PSL. We have to fight to stay there. We can’t fight for five seasons and then when you finally go up, you go back down after just one season. We’ll make sure that we stay up.”
The Zambian has all the right ingredients of a good striker - power, speed, vision, an eye for goal and a high work rate. Leopards’ coach Joel Masutha praised Musonda for his hard work, going as far as to say that even when the forward isn’t 100% fit he still gives 140% on the pitch to help his team get the result.
“I had to push myself to the limits. Hard work always pays. You can’t relax and then hope for great things to fall on your lap. Hard work and patience are important. There are times when you work hard and things don’t work out for you," Musonda added.
"Patience was key, to ensure that I find my feet and I help the team gain promotion. We’ve been pushing. We’ve been to the play-offs four times in five seasons. It was long overdue. We are just happy that we have finally done it.”