New kids on the block Magesi FC puts rural Moletji on the football map

The story of Magesi FC is the kind of stuff dreams are really made of. When the owner, Solly Makhubela, started the club in 2011, little did he know that in just over a decade, the club would be lining up against the country’s most established teams, such as the Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Orlando Pirates.

“Di Kwena tsa Meetsi” as the budding team from rural Moletji is dotingly known, has just been promoted to play in the elite league of SA football, the DStv Premiership.

They achieved this feat after opening an unassailable lead at the top of the Motsepe Foundation Championship (MFC), which serves as the second tier of professional football in the country.

Magesi’s incredible feat of winning the MFC with two league matches remaining means that Limpopo will now have three teams in the top flight next season.

Baroka FC could add the number to four; if they can secure a second or third spot in the MFC, they will then have a lifeline of playing in the promotion or relegation play-offs.

At the beginning of the season, they beefed up their squad with experienced players such as Elvis Chipezeze and midfield workhorse Deolin Mekoa who had walked the walk previously.

Makhubela produced a masterstroke when he roped in street-smart administrator Peter Kotroulis, a man known in local football circles to make things happen.

Dikwena tsa Meetsi coach Clinton Larsen says that getting the experienced players was vital.

“This mixture between junior and senior players was key because it made the spine of the team very strong. It was the glue that bound the squad together,” Larsen told Sunday World.

According to the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United coach, the following players played a massive role in the elevation of the club:

Elvis Chipezeze: He was the captain and a very experienced goalkeeper who won the 2018 Telkom Knockout cup with Baroka.

Peter Kotroulis: The former Mamelodi Sundowns manager was key in the administration role of the club, and he paved the way for the success on the field.

Diamond Thopola: He is a former Pirates star who worked with Larsen at Chippa United. According to the coach, Thopola was great in the dressing room, helping new players to develop.

Deolin Mekoa: Larsen reckons that the veteran Mekoa is underrated and that he contributed immensely to their promotion.

Edmore Chirambadare: “We got him after he was released by Venda Football Club and their loss was our gain. The former Chiefs player chipped in with three goals,” said Larsen.

Rhulani Manzini: Born in Bushbuckridge, his three goals in 10 matches towards the end of the campaign helped Magesi a great deal. He has played for Platinum Stars, AmaZulu, and a host of other PSL clubs.

Mzwandile Buthelezi: The lanky centre-back has played for PSL clubs such as Polokwane City, Arrows, Royal Eagles, and was a vital cog in the club’s defensive wall.

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