CAPE TOWN – Roll the camera lens down memory lane and, invariably, whenever Ajax Cape Town are doing well in the PSL, there are two things consistent to their success: good wingers and goal-scoring strikers. Unfortunately, the reverse is just as true: when there’s no creativity out wide and no front man to rely on, then, as a consequence, Ajax struggle.
Think back to Ajax’s excellent seasons in the PSL and you will find net-busting attackers like Terror Fanteni, Mabhuti Khenyeza and Thulani Serero. Go through some of their outstanding years since their inception in 1999 and you will find wingers like Shaun Potgieter, Khama Billiat, Franklin Cale, Keagan Dolly and Lebogang Manyama. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why the current Ajax team has struggled in recent times: there hasn’t been that much to enthuse over out wide and in front.
Over the last few weeks, though, there has been steady improvement and, based on the last two results - a 0-0 draw with league champions Wits and a 1-0 win over Chippa United - it appears the corner has been turned.
Ajax are looking to maintain the momentum when they take on Kaizer Chiefs at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night (8.15pm kickoff). It’s the Cape side’s last fixture before the festive season break and they are keen to finish it off in a positive way.
The big plus for Ajax has been the return to form of right-wing Thabo Mosadi. The 27-year-old’s pace and trickery out wide are vital to the manner in which the team performs. Unfortunately, though, Mosadi has been off form for quite a while. Head coach Stanley Menzo has kept working on the winger - both mentally and tactically - and his patience is finally paying off. Against Chippa at the weekend, Mosadi turned in a man-of-the-match performance, netting a brilliant individual goal as well.
Once again, it proves the theory that, when Ajax get it right on the flanks, when they have a productive, innovative winger, everything just falls into place. No doubt, Mosadi will be keen to continue his return to form against Chiefs on Saturday.
“I think both Chiefs and Ajax went through a spell of not winning games, but both got results at the weekend,” said Mosadi. “So it won’t be easy on Saturday, it will come down to who wants it more. We certainly want it, because we want to finish off the first round on a high.”
As for his superb goal against Chippa, the winger said it came through a change in mind-set.
“I was happy to score that goal,” said Mosadi. “It seems like forever since I last scored, and that was my first of the season. But it didn’t really come as a shock I told myself that, when I got in the box, I was going to shoot. I haven’t really been shooting too much this season, I have only been passing, but I have been promising myself that if I get in the area I will shoot. I’m just glad it all worked out.”
Mosadi is from Katlehong, an area east of Johannesburg. Having played for a few amateur clubs in his township, he went on to play for Jomo Cosmos and Alexandra United before coming to prominence at the University of Pretoria in the PSL. When AmaTuks were relegated, Ajax were quick to pounce to lure the winger to the Mother City. While he kicked off his Ajax career well early last year, things have been quiet this season - until recently, when his form dramatically turned for the better - and Mosadi is just pleased to be able to contribute.
“It’s always good to get man-of-the-match awards, it’s what every player wants,” said Mosadi of his performance against Chippa at the weekend. “I’m happy that I did well for the team.”