JOHANNESBURG – Since his arrival at Kaizer Chiefs seven years ago from Bloemfontein Celtic, Kgotso Moleko is yet to command a starting berth at right back.
But he’s adamant he won’t give up without a long shot.
In that tenure, Moleko has worked under three different coaches at the club – Stuart Baxter, Steve Komphela and there’s currently Giovanni Solinas.
However, under the trio, he’s only managed to secure 53 appearances so far. “Football is something that’s funny. But as a human being, I don’t have to give up because I know I have the qualities of playing for this club,” Moleko said.
“I just have to keep on going, and hopefully I’ll grab my chance when it comes.”
In his first four seasons – where they won two Absa Premiership titles, the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 – he played second fiddle to Siboniso Gaxa.
While he impressed when he filled in for Gaxa when the latter was injured for the better part of the 2015/2016 season, that didn’t stop the Naturena-based club from replacing Gaxa with their long-term target and former Mamelodi Sundowns captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele at the end of the campaign.
And as a result, the 29-year-old defender has been Mphahlele’s deputy ever since.
“It’s frustrating (when you are not playing), but as a person that believes in himself, it’s not easy to give up,” he said prior to his two appearances so far this season.
“I am not happy about not being able to play for most of the years that I’ve been here.
“I am disappointed in myself, but it’s not all over yet, so I won’t give up.”
However, far from being jealous of the Bafana international, Moleko says together with Mphahlele, they go over the post-match analysis.
“We are deep friends with Rama, because we talk a lot. He asks me how did he play, and I tell him, ‘Nicely (when he really has)’,” he said.
“I have to be professional and can’t be unhappy when someone is doing well.”
Even though he’s only made 30 appearances in the club’s three-year barren run under Komphela, Moleko shares the same trophyless burden from Amakhosi’s faithful as with the regulars.
Already this season, they have missed out on the MTN8.
However, the ongoing league – which they had a slow start to – and Telkom Knockout, together with the upcoming Caf Confederations Cup and Nedbank Cup, offers them an opportunity to bag a piece of silverware this season.
“It is a crucial game for us. We need to repay our fans after the derby. Injury has forced me to change the squad. We need more consistency"— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) October 31, 2018
“In Durban, we have a lot of supporters. Normally Kaizer Chiefs has a lot of supporters there & they will help us”#TKO2018 #HailTheChief pic.twitter.com/nkZ56ieCSK
Chiefs will face SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals on Sunday (3.30pm).
“For me, it’s also not easy because it’s been three years without winning anything,” he said.
“We must push ourselves hard, because football is something that comes after each and every day.
“We can’t play today and think we’ll win the league tomorrow. It’s a good that we are in the quarter-finals, but we need to win.”@Mihlalibaleka