JOHANNESBURG – Mamelodi Sundowns talisman Thokozani Sekotlong seems to be grabbing the chence he has been given by the Chloorkop-based side with both hands.
After being released by Free State Stars at the end of the 2016/2017 campaign due to numerous injury problems, it is an astonishment to the football community that then-African Champions Sundowns gave him a chance to redeem himself, with a five year deal.
The 26-year-old’s career at Downs has thus far taken a bittersweet route – he has made only four appearances, and is currently on a comeback journey after suffering a muscle strain injury against Chippa United in the Telkom Knockout first round.
In spite of that unfortunate setback, the Mamelodi-born footballer has been enjoying his game so far.
“I think it’s been a good season. It’s been progressive, I am happy with the development and the way it’s been going,” Sekotlong said.
“I am just disappointed that I got injured in the Chippa game, that injury knocked me back a bit. But so far, I am happy with everything.”
“I think I’ve had a fair chance. I started in the Chippa game, but I got injured after 20 minutes. Up until then I was actually gaining momentum in my recovery.
“These things do happen. It’s just that when I do get my chance again, I need to take it,” Sekotlong emphasises.
Not only is Sekotlong enjoying the perks of playing for a team of The Brazilians’ calibre, but he claims to have found a suitable coach in Pitso Mosimane, the kind of mentor who can only take his game to the next level.
“Jingles” – as Mosimane is affectionately known – holds a very colourful record as coach at Sundowns.
He has won nearly all domestic trophies up for grabs, as well as the continental CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup - with the MTN 8 the only silverware that’s eluded his cabinet so far.
Sekotlong talks about his targets with the team: “We definitely want to win the league. We are a team that wants to play in the CAF (competitions). And for us to achieve that, we need to win the league.
“Our number one target is the league, we definitely want that more than anything so that we can get back into the CAF Champions League.”
After “Kabo Yellow Nation” finished second in the PSL last season, that ensured 2018 CCL football yet again.
A competition that Sundowns might have to later progress in Africa without strikers Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro, with rumours that the pair are refusing to sign new deals with the team.
Should those speculations prove to be true, Sekotlong is ready to fill the void.
“Obviously it’s just rumours – I don’t know what’s going on. If they give me the opportunity, I just need to take it with both hands.”@Mihlalibaleka