2 November 2017 – When Kenny Ndlazi left Maccabi FC after the team failed to win the ABC Motsepe League, doubts crept regarding who was good enough to keep the team at the top.
The club bosses turned to former Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic defender Mokete Tsotetsi, who proved to be a massive coup. The 34-year-old has since guided the team to the top of the ABC Motsepe log, where they currently have 20 points from nine matches.
Under his guidance, Maccabi have managed to win six times, draw twice and lost just once this season. Tsotetsi has acknowledged that he joined the team well aware of what they had achieved and what the expectations were for this season.
“It is a challenge I felt I was ready for and what made it easy for me was that the players supported me and bought into what I wanted to do. That is why we are at the top of the log. More than anything, they have worked hard and showed more hunger than all the other teams,” Tsotetsi said.
“It all started in pre-season, where all the players were aware that we have to be in the play-offs again this season. When I came in, I worked on their belief because the talent is there. We just needed to work hard. There was not much we could change because this is a team that did well last year. But we are happy even thought we cannot get comfortable. This is a long journey,” Maccabi coach said.
Tsotetsi is right about one thing. His team cannot afford to be complacent as JDR Stars, who are second on 18 points, African All Stars, as well as Baberwa FC, who are third and fourth on 16 points, are also eyeing top spot.
But according to Tsotetsi, this is the kind of pressure they need to perform at their best.
“Those are three top teams with great players and big players. Their hunger fuels us because we always want to win and stay on top of them. In a way, all the teams push each other. While we run our own race, our main concern is remaining consistent and win every week,” Maccabi coach said.