His professionalism earned him a call on Monday
Township Rollers forward Joel Mogorosi ended a personally disappointing week with yet another goal to spark his club’s comeback victory against a tactically disciplined Extension Gunners this past weekend. Mogorosi scored Rollers’ equalising goal and helped ignite Popa’s bid to get back into the game after Gunners had taken the lead through a Mmoloki Kebalepile penalty in the first half. Rollers eventually won 4-1 to strengthen their push for the BTC Premiership title.
On Thursday, interim national team coach Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote released his squad for the upcoming AFCON 2019 Qualifiers game against Angola many had speculated that Mogorosi (given his rich vein of scoring form in the league) would be included.
Mogorosi is the current BTC Premiership top scorer with 15 goals at the moment and he was the national team’s top scorer during Peter Butler’s reign. Towards the end of Butler’s tenure Mogorosi was dropped but he would have expected to revive his international career under Major David Bright but that proved impossible as he was overlooked in the new regime.
The appointment of Mpote, who worked with Mogorosi at Rollers, was expected to provide Mogorosi with another chance. Instead Mpote selected a youthful team which suggests that he is starting a new era for local football.
In an interesting turn of events on Monday the Botswana Football Association confirmed that Omaatla Kebatho sustained an injury that would rule him out of the Angola game, this opened up an opportunity for Mogorosi to earn a call up on Monday. Despite last week’s disappointment, Mogorosi did not sulk, his professionalism was on full display on Saturday and this helped him remain in the thoughts of the national team selectors.
Why Mpote might have initially been reluctant to select Mogorosi
Although Mpote and Mogorosi once worked together at Rollers, it appears Mogorosi did not fit well into Mpote’s plans and the style of play he wanted at Popa. Mpote was appointed as the caretaker coach after Mark Harrison’s departure in January 2017, he usually deployed a 4-5-1 formation and elected to play Terrence Mandaza as the lone striker.
Mogorosi, who once played as a winger, had already been accustomed to a more central role in the last few years but Mpote used him as a winger. As a result, Mogorosi found first team chances limited as he made only 10 starts in 22 games under Mpote in all competitions during the 2016/2017 season. This suggests that Mpote might not view Mogorosi as a central or advanced forward.