Bafana duo inspires Baroka players to dreamThomas Kwenaite
By Andile Dladla and Mandla Dladla
There are simply no short cuts to success. And it has been proven over and over again that hard work has always been rewarded whenever a sports person puts in 100% every time they are given an opportunity to showcase their talents.
The saying rings true to DStv Premiership Baroka FC right back – Matome Evans Kgoetyane – who is not a flashy kind of player but catches your attention because of his dependability and ability to put in a decent shift week in and week out.
Kgoetyane is ever reliable and due to the position that he occupies, he often finds himself facing all manner of wingers, most of them blessed with energy and speed to burn and it is his duty, which he goes about it quietly in executing, to keep them in his pockets.
“Playing away is not an easy task especially when you are faced with quick and skilful players that are talented and hell bent on turning you inside out in order to fashion out a scoring opportunity for their strikers in the penalty area,” says Kgoetyane.
“But I have somehow been able to stamp my authority, especially at Tembisa Stadium where the supporters have always supported me and when we played a team like Highlands Park it would usually be an amazing atmosphere.
“I grew up in Tembisa where I have a lot of friends and football loving people who turned up to those games and showed me love. It gives me the courage to go out and show them that I will always give my best because of their support”
Matome is a brave defender on the field but admits that the late former Free State Stars winger Sinethemba Jantjie and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC winger Thabo Rakhale are two of the best wingers he’s ever faced.
He confesses that every time he went up against them he always braces himself for an all-out war. He uses that tired old cliché that: “it’s the grass that would suffer” and indeed many have been battles he had waged against the duo. However he respects their football brains and their skill will always be unique.
He reveals that he highly respects team-mates Evidence Makgopa and Dewin Farmer are strong and hard workers and everyone at the club including our chairman and coaches always say how hard our work would be rewarded.
The duo were recently called up for the national team set-up and they both played in the 3-2 victory against Uganda in an international friendly at the Orlando Stadium. Their call up to the national team has been received with great excitement from the whole team and everyone is happy for the boys.
“It has had (their national call-ups) a positive impact on the team and has greatly inspired us all to do well and to also get call ups too. The South African football landscape is such that players from so-called small clubs are usually overlooked when it comes to the national team.
But the inclusion of the duo in the national set-up has suddenly made everyone realize that “dreams do come true” and it has also inspired them to realize that this could actually open doors for everyone to go and pursue their careers abroad.
But he is under no illusion that it would take extra hard work to achieve this lofty ambition, yet he is up to the task and reveals that he is going to double his efforts going forward.
“Since I arrived at Baroka during 2017 I have been warmly welcomed and it has helped me survive. In addition, it has encouraged me to knuckle down and work hard but above all, I am a disciplined fellow and this is what has helped me develop.”
He admits that he does not socialize a lot and don’t have too many friends but instead spend a lot of quality time with his brother or would be found indoors relaxing or checking out videos of his previous games.
“My contract ends at the end of June 2021 and it’s up to the club to let me know if they had been satisfied about my contributions to enable them to renew it because my work this past season will determine what the team has seen in me.”
Although Kgoetyane grew up in Tembisa on the East Rand, he is proud of his ancestral home in Bochum (Limpopo) where he was born and says there is a lot of talent in that rural area but no one to assist with taking it further.
“We grew up eating Pap and so you find strong players that hail from my town and most are very special”.
Due to the lack of opportunities and his love for football, he left for Tembisa at a young age to fulfil his boyhood dream of making it big in the city of gold. Baroka players report for pre-season on the 30th June.