It might have taken Mochudi Centre Chiefs 36 years to win their first league trophy, but when they finally delivered it to their loyal supporters, it arrived in spectacular fashion. Staff Writer, BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO goes down the memory lane to look at a side that won the title undefeated
Since their formation in 1972, Magosi has always been a side that boasts passionate and colourful fans. However, it was not until the 2007-2008 season that they tasted not only their maiden league trophy but also their first major trophy.
Following many years lagging behind other community sides in terms of silverware, an executive committee led by the chairperson at the time, Ernest Molome and the late Clifford Mogomotsi sat down and came up with an expensive but very fruitful plan.
The idea was to bring the best players in the league to Magosi and dominate for years to come. The first to arrive was striker, Stanley Tsolope who at the time was hot property from ECCO City Greens. That paved way for other high profile arrivals like Pontsho Moloi, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Jerome Ramatlhakwana and later on, Mpho Mabogo.
The project, under the tutelage of Zambian mentor, Mike Sithole was a menace to many teams during the 2006-2007 season, but they missed out on the title, finishing second behind ECCO.
However, the best of Magosi was to be unleashed the following season, now under another Zambian coach, Beston Chambeshi. The first match of that season was a 3-0 win over bitter rivals, Township Rollers, sending a clear message of their intent.
Although it was much easier to predict that they would finally walk away with a league title, nobody ever thought they would win it without a single loss.
The victory against Rollers was the start of a record-breaking season. That season, Chiefs registered 23 victories and seven draws. Rollers had thought they had finally ended their unbeaten run in the second round, leading 2-1 in the 90th minute, but Oteng Moalosi scored a last minute equaliser in additional time. The unbeaten run was only broken by Rollers the following season.
Up to now, no other Premier League side has ever come close to achieving the feat. Following their historical season, Magosi went onto to rubber stamp their status as one of the big guns in the league, winning three other Premier League titles until their internal squabbles led to their eventual demise last season.
The regular starting line up:
Noah Maposa: The last line of defence who ensured that his back four were always adhering to positional discipline. Maposa conceded 21 goals that season and kept 13 clean sheets, making him the number one choice for the national Under-23 side.
Tshepo Motlhabankwe: ‘Talk Talk’ arrived from Extension Gunners and immediately became a household name at Chiefs. He was a natural right back who was also used as a holding midfielder and sweeper when the need arose.
James Kachinga: The Zambian left back was a menace on the left with his attacking
Gobonyeone Selefa: A very underrated defender who many believed was the weakest link in Magosi’s line up at the time but did the job diligently. He was also a regular starter in the famous national Under-23 side, which was coached by David Bright.
Given Mpundu: The Zambian man was a rock at the heart of Chiefs defence that season. He bullied even some of the most feared strikers with his no nonsense and timely interventions.
Elijah Montsho (formerly Phiriepha): Montsho was the link between Magosi’s attack and defence. He started most of the movements and despite falling behind other defensive midfielders both at senior national team and national Under-23 side, Montsho owned the position at club level. His partnership with Oteng Moalosi in the middle of the park gave opposing sides a torrid time.
Oteng Moalosi: The man they called Limkokwing was arguably the best attacking central midfielder that season. He made everything look easy when Magosi were in attack and scored crucial goals, especially at the death, when Magosi were about to lose a match or drop points. His exploits, however, failed to convince national team selectors.
Othusitse Pilane: A very entertaining and speedy winger who launched Chiefs’ attacks on the right. Jabu formed a deadly combination with Motlhabankwe on the right and created scoring opportunities for his strikers.
Pontsho Moloi: Captain Fantastic who was not only a deadly forward but also a motivator on the pitch. Piro inherited the Chiefs captaincy from Noah Kareng and delivered Magosi’s first title. He is considered Chiefs’ first ‘Galatico’ of the history making side.
Jerome Ramatlhakwana: ‘JJ’ was a proven goal scorer who gave Chiefs physical presence upfront. Despite ending up playing for Rollers, Orapa United and Gaborone United, it was at Chiefs where he actually left a long lasting mark. He formed a deadly combination upfront with Mpho Mabogo and Pontsho Moloi.
Mpho Mabogo: Mabogo joined Chiefs from BDF XI and brought along his scoring boots. He, together with his striking partner, Ramatlhakwana looked untouchable that season and was considered the deadliest striking duo in the league.
The road to the 2008 league title:
vs Township Rollers (3-0)
vs TAFIC (1-0)
vs Police XI (0-0)
vs Notwane (2-0)
vs BDF XI (0-0)
vs Boteti Young Strikers (1-0)
vs Uniao Flamengo Santos (2-2)
vs TASC (5-1)
vs Mogoditshane Fighters (4-1)
vs Gaborone United (4-0)
vs Nico United (3-1)
vs Extension Gunners (2-0)
vs ECCO (2-2)
vs Jwaneng Comets (1-0)
vs BMC (1-0)
vs BMC (2-1)
vs ECCO (3-0)
vs Extension Gunners (1-1)
vs Township Rollers (2-2)
vs Nico United (1-0)
vs Gaborone United (2-1)
vs Santos (2-1)
vs Jwaneng Comets (5-1)
vs TASC (4-1)
vs Boteti (0-0)
vs Mogoditshane Fighters (4-2)
BDF XI (3-1)
vs Notwane (2-1)
vs Police XI (3-1)
vs TAFIC (2-1)