MOLEMOGI HUNGRY FOR MORE SILVERWARE WITH ROLLERS
Lesego Molemogi is among a few talented players who have gone through proper football development having played for all the local junior national teams.
He first signed for Township Rollers as a youngster in 2003 when the team was battling at the first division.
In 2009 the diminutive midfielder went to USA to pursue a Business Management course. After four years in the US and a Business Degree later, the player is back in Rollers colours.
He fields questions from Voice Sports Editor Kabelo Dipholo.
Q. You are amongst the longest serving Township Rollers players. Could kindly take us back to your early days as a Rollers players?
I started training with the team in 2002 and they wanted to sign me then but my mother was against the idea.
However after I completed my Form five she gave me her blessing and I received my first blue book min 2003.
The team had just relegated but we gained promotion to the then St Louis Premier League and went on to win it and the Coca Cola Cup. The 2004/05 season was the highlight of my football career.
Q. After that historic success you disappeared from local football, what happened?
We went through a rough patch during the 2006 season, but the saga that saw us disqualified from the Coke semifinal after BDF XI complained that we used a defaulter (Bernard Simakwenzi) I lost hope in local football.
It was perhaps the saddest day of my life at Rollers. So in 2007 I decided to take a break from football to concentrate on my studies.
Q. You went to the US to study. How did that move come about?
I researched about the US soccer scholarship on the internet and followed all the necessary procedures. In 2009 I enrolled with the Jefferson College in St Louis for a two year Business Administration course.
I later transferred to Southern Polytechnic State University in Atlanta where I stayed for a year. It was during the college football league games that one of the powerhouses Lindsay Wilson College showed interest in me.
I joined them and was amazed by their football programme.
We were coached by South Africa Lee Chalmers who has also coached teams like Supersport United. I played with talented players from all over the world and graduated with a Degree last December.
Q. It sounds like everything was going well for you. Why did you come back?
I could have stayed if I had wanted to.
I was given an option of coaching a development side but I wanted to come home because I still wanted to play.
In any case I can go back if I want to.
Q. You are among the longest serving Rollers members; 11 years to be precise which makes you a veteran. How does that make you feel?
I never brag about my association with Rollers. I consider myself new and still trying to fit in with players I found there.
Q. With your talent one would have thought other teams would have lined up for your services. Why did you decide to stay at Rollers?
I had offers from a couple of teams with better monetary benefits but I just love Rollers. I feel I was cut for this team. It takes a lot more than money to stay loyal.
Q. Why did you not try the MLS?
Breaking into the MLS is not easy for foreigners, unless you have a Green Card. Most foreigners who make it still have to work at McDonalds to augment their salaries because the money is not that good.
I’m happy at Rollers and focused on winning the league and the Mascom Top 8.
Q. What do you think about the standard of football in Botswana?
Nothing much has changed.
The only difference is that more young players are finding their way into the big teams but the standard of play is still the same.
The problem I think is that we recycle the same coaches every season and no one is bringing fresh ideas.
Q. How do you intend to plough back what you have learnt in the US?
I’m willing to work with youngsters who also want to use their talent to access the free education offered by American Colleges.
I’m the one who recommended Edwin Moalosi and he is doing very well. I have to add that since Diphetogo Selolwane, Edwin Disang, Moalosi and myself set college football alight in the US interest in Botswana players has grown in the US.