Mochudi Centre Chiefs have, in the past, ruthlessly used their royal powers to establish themselves as an undoubted dominant force in local football, but that is fast becoming distant memory, writes MQONDISI DUBE
Since a transformation that changed the face of local football in 2008, Mochudi Centre Chiefs have bludgeoned opponents with a ruthless display of overwhelming football.
Chiefs, under a charismatic Ernest Molome, cantered to a first ever league title in 2008 unbeaten. That team was an embodiment of grit and determination and was a sight to behold, even for neutrals, each time the black and white Kgatleng boys emerged from the dug-out, before pummelling their opponents into submission.
One such sight was in Selebi-Phikwe in the summer of 2007, where Magosi met Nico United.
Chiefs players rolled out of their bus before an awestruck crowd and clad in their traditional black and white colours, they began a warm-up filled with swagger. Their fans broke into song and dance well before kick-off, and their opponents, Nico, then under Madinda Ndlovu, could only watch a beautiful story unfold.
Noah Maposa was the first to enter the pitch, and there was the irrepressible Jerome Ramatlhakwana, the speedy and tricky Sekhana ‘Chicken’ Koko, the slick Moloi brothers, Dirang and Pontsho, Othusitse ‘Jabu’ Pilane and Oteng ‘OT’ Moalosi in what was talent all lumped in one team. It was a juggernaut local opponents failed to withstand, and naturally, with their success, Chiefs attracted envious enemies.
On the stands, the Chiefs fans became the most colourful with their choral music matched only by the performance of their team.
A solid institution had been established and several league successes followed. But the story would not be beautiful forever; it took an ugly turn two seasons back. Molome lost full control of the club as a new investor, Saeyd Jamali took over. The process to move from a society to a company hurt Chiefs,
While the likes of Maposa, Thato Kebue and Lesego Galenamotlhale can make the line-up of most teams in the Premiership, there is not much left to remind their suffering fans of the Chiefs of old. Those memories of the glorious sunshine are fast fading, and dark, cloudy times are now the order of the day.
There is a lot of promise or potential in some players, who include Lesego Lubinda, Tendai Nyamadzawo, Katlego Koobake, but the aura of invincibility is long gone. Chiefs are never the same. It was no surprise when Sharps seized their first ever top flight meeting with Chiefs, to toy with the former champions. In some instances in the first half, Chiefs were like a mouse being mercilessly pawed by an overzealous cat.
Sharps wasted several gilt-edged opportunities and could have embarrassed Chiefs had Maposa not intervened or due to the newcomers’ own profligacy. One fan on the stands summed up Chiefs display when he said Sunday soccer would probably be more appealing than watching his favourite team.
That’s how low a once rampant Chiefs have sunk, and with the internal squabbles stretching longer than expected, it would not be far fetched to suggest that more excruciating pain lies ahead for the powerless Magosi.