8 June 2018 – Maccabi FC coach, Mokete Tsotetsi’s plan to lead his side into next year’s NFD season was pretty simple.
The former Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic centre-back knew that all they had to do was win all of their three ABC Motsepe League National Playoff games (two group matches and their semi-final clash), and that they would be home and dry into the first division.
However, it is the practical implementation of that plan which was a bit of a stretch, and required him to be super strategic in order to see it bearing fruit.
His key striker Collins Mbesuma had been out on a knee injury for six months and therefore, opted not to play him up until he felt they really needed him.
In their first game against Magareng Young Stars which they won by a 2-1 scoreline, Mbesuma’s name was on the team sheet, however, never showed up at the match venue. It was all part of Tsotetsi’s plan. Tsotetsi wanted to cause a huge amount of anxiety to all of his Group C opponents he was going to play up against.
“We all know that football is all about mind games,” Tsotetsi said with a smile across his face. “And I knew that we could risk not having Collins playing in our (two group stage matches) because we had another quality striker to rely on. “Now, all of that created anxiety in every side we faced (in their last three games) because they didn’t know when we were going to play him (Mbesuma). That plan worked wonders for us.”
Tsotetsi also expressed that though they’ve gained promotion into the NFD by virtue of being in Saturday’s final which will take place at Peter Mokaba Stadium (Kick-off 11am), his current focus is to see his side bagging that R1 million prize money which will be handed to the winners of the final on the day.
Meanwhile, Collins Mbesuma expressed his excitement over helping his side to gain promotion into the NFD with his goal and assist in their 4-3 win over The Dolphins FC. The veteran striker, who came in as a sub in the second period to make such a huge different in front of goal for his side, also revealed that his main focus is to see himself helping Maccabi gain promotion into the PSL.
“The job is not done yet,” Mbesuma said. “Our plan leading up to these playoffs was to come and take everything that’s on offer. We want to win the final before we head into the NFD.
“This is a God-given talent,” Mbesuma added. “And that’s why it’s so easy for me to enjoy my game wherever I’m given a platform to play. It doesn’t matter what level it is, really. Look at us now. We are now in the NFD and who knows, the season after that we might even break into the PSL. And that’s how I am, I always plan.
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs Prizes
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs final winners:R1 Million
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs final runners up:R500 Thousand
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs Top Goal Score:R100 Thousand
ABC Motsepe League National Playoffs Player of the Tournament:R100 Thousand