Modiba hopeful of finishing season on a high and qualifying for Africa
It’s been a stressful season for Modiba, who suffered a grade one tear early in the season that lasted for three weeks and a quad injury late last year that saw him sidelined from SuperSport’s matchday squad until early February.
But as “Postman” was starting to pick up the pieces and get his campaign back on track - he played in his team's last few league matches where they bagged six points out of nine - the season came to an abrupt pause because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The government has tried to curb the spread of the disease (which has infected close to 4 000 people) by declaring a national lockdown.
These developments left the resumption of the domestic season up in the air, meaning that Modiba's aim to finish his season on a high also hangs in the balance.
“The positive mind, the physio of the team and doctor, pushed me to come back earlier. It wasn’t easy for me because I’ve never sustained a long-term injury like that before. It was nice to come back and play,” Modiba explained.
“The break did break my momentum. I didn’t expect anything like this to happen - especially when I had just come back from a break and scoring because I was always looking forward to my next game. I was really disappointed when this pandemic broke out.”
Modiba continued: “But there was nothing I could do. We just have to comply with the regulations so that we can get back to our normal lives. It was really a big blow for me because it knocked my confidence a bit but I think I’ll come back and play again.”
Having won three trophies - two MTN8 cups and one Nedbank Cup - since his arrival at Matsatsantsa a Pitori four seasons ago, Modiba has wormed his way into the hearts of the Blue Army, becoming a cog for his former coaches Stuart Baxter and Eric Tinkler, and incumbent Kaitano Tembo.
Such is Modiba's prominence - he was discovered from the Ke Yona Team Search - that he was on the radar of 2016 African and nine-time South African kings Mamelodi Sundowns during the last two transfer windows.
However, Matsatsantsa turned down their neighbour's request on both occasions, rewarding Modiba with a new four-and-a-half-year contract that will see him stay at the club at least until the winter transfer window in 2024.
“It speaks volumes with how they (SuperSport) treat their players - there’s professionalism, people support each other and the environment is friendly. I was happy to renew even though there was an interest from Sundowns, which didn’t happen,” said Modiba.
Modiba may have contributed to the team’s success in recent years but he remains adamant that his main objective is winning the Absa Premiership title. But he’ll have to wait for at least another season for that to happen.
SuperSport are third on the standings with 40 points, eight adrift of leaders Kaizer Chiefs who have two games in hand. This leaves Modiba and company setting their priority on a top three finish as that guarantees continental football next season.
“I personally want to win the league. But if that doesn’t happen, I would like the team to push high up and finish in the top three so that we can play African football next season,” said Modiba.@MihlaliBaleka
Independent on Saturday