Tsotso, a world class player
Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele continues to shine at the highest levels of international sport. He is a true example of what good grassroots development can produce. Tsotso was born with his talent and those who unearthed it made sure it was nurtured properly in a systematic way. Players like him are few in this country.
Unfortunately, we do not have programmes in place to produce another Tsotso because our systems are ad hoc, haphazard and desperate. Tsotso was carefully and diligently nurtured by Sexton Kowa and his development coaches at Flamengo Santos and it shows today that more gems could come out a similar set up.
Think of Dirang Moloi. If he had gone through such stages and tutelage under the same hands, training regimes, tactical development and skill enhancement programmes, we would be far as a football nation.
I believe we made the big mistake of neglecting development stages in our soccer because Tsotso was discovered more than six years ago. We have not seen any player better than him since.
In South Africa there is Bryce Moon, who is totally different from David Nyathi or Lucky Lekgwathi because the former was brought up in an environment conducive for building a world class player. He had the privilege of modern day technology and sports science integrated into one. Thus, it makes sense why Bryce Moon is special and played in the UEFA champions League for Panathinaikos of Greece. Ever since the School of Excellence closed down, South Africa has never produced a better winger than Dillon Sheppard.
We need to take stock and ask ourselves what the future holds for our development and our soccer. Our football has no direction at the moment as currently there is no senior national team, no under 17, 20, 23s. We are in a state of emergency because priority has been gate takings and nothing more.
In a system where football is run by courts of law, there is low possibility of success. The aftermath of this situation is failure in everything. We should be ashamed and strive to redeem ourselves from this state. To Tsotso, I say continue to fly the flag high and make a name for yourself. Your discipline and commitment to your job and the desire to be different is now paying off.