The man who haunts Pirates to this dayThomas Kwenaite
By Andile Dladla & Mandla Dladla
Former Maluti FET College coach lamented the short fused attitude of club owners who do not hesitate to pull the trigger on coaches, unaware of the trauma, emotional damage they causing as well as unconsciously destroying careers.
Morena Ramoreboli, the man who masterminded Maluti FET College’s stunning 4-1 triumph over Orlando Pirates with a team that included the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch during the 2013 Nedbank Cup tournament is determined to achieve his childhood ambition of coaching in the higher echelons of domestic football despite the challenges involved in rising up in a field laden with landmines.
Who can exactly forget that sensational if not emphatic elimination of then high riding Pirates with a young and mostly inexperienced college students who not only displayed maturity, but an amazing solid structure that belied their lower division status as they matched the Buccaneers pound for pound.
“My love for coaching has taught me that as a coach I am dealing with human beings and football is a process,” said the down to earth former mentor of Bloemfontein Young Tigers, African Warriors, Bloemfontein Celtic as well as Lioli FC in Lesotho.
Ramoreboli has always been driven by an ambition to work in the highly challenging environment of the DSTV Premiership where he can pit his strength and knowledge of the game against some of the very best coaches in the country.
“As knowledgeable as I am, I will not rush but will start as an assistant. When you are a deputy you need to do your best to see the team winning and support the head coach while also learning and developing and refrain from sabotaging the head coach inspired by malicious intentions to take over his position.”
The job of a coach is not guaranteed at many football clubs where owners are a trigger happy lot and fire coaches at the drop of a hat. Ramoreboli has experienced his fair share of abrupt spells as head coach like at Royal Eagles FC and as assistant coach at Bloemfontein Celtic where he was suddenly and unexpectedly ejected.
He revealed that getting the heave-ho abruptly could affect a coach mentally and psychologically.
“As coaches we are not given enough time to implement your philosophy. For example, at Royal Eagles they didn’t undergo pre-season and I was given the mandate to ensure the team was not relegated but to keep it at a respectable position.
“I did my best under very challenging circumstances but unfortunately there were far too many internal issues that derailed my plans and the contract was terminated. Sadly such actions affect our profiles as well as our marketability.”
His love for the game began at a young age when he was just ten years old. In those days there was a lot of “Street Soccer” challenges with the soccer ball sometimes fashioned out of newspapers, old rags and plastics. And out of those street influences he ended up forming his own team at that tender age.
But the problem emerged when most of the young boys he played with applied pressure demanding that he chose between them and turning professional. Such was his commitment and deep love for the team that he abandoned the promise of fame and fortune as a professional and elected to coach them at the age of 21.
Ramoreboli expressed his sadness about the lack of support for women football across Africa. He feels that in Africa, priority is given to male football at the expense of women and it is for this reason that football by females across Africa will take decades before it blossoms.
However, he acknowledged that important strides have been made in certain countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and South Africa who have just formed a National Women’s League bankrolled by Sasol.
On the covid-19 pandemic and how it has badly affected football at amateur level, Ramoreboli feels lack of action could force the idle youth to end up engaging in anti-social behaviour while they have been desperately trying to keep them away from alcohol and all other substance abuses.
“The unfortunate part is that at the moment, the very same things that we are trying to protect our kids from, those things are now available to them with no football being played for such a long time.”
We wish coach Ramoreboli all the best and are look forward to seeing him back on the touchline and doing what he has always loved from a young age.