Swallows FC captain Lebohang Mokoena has described the return of the once Soweto giants to South Africa’s premier division, as the moment he will cherish for the rest of his life.
The Dube Birds marked a return to the Absa Premiership after a five-year absence, when they finished top of the inaugural GladAfrica Championship.
It was an emotional day for the Swallows faithful and Mokoena, who last played top flight football in 2017.
“For me it’s just a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life and I am grateful that God has given me this opportunity because a lot of people wrote me off and said ‘Cheeseboy’ will no longer play football again,” said Mokoena.
“I maintained that I am not here for the love of money, but I am here for the passion that God has given me and the talent that He has given me. The support that I have from my family, my wife and kids. I want to thank them for keeping me in the shape that I am to keep me going in terms of what I love.”
The 33-year-old has attributed the club’s resurrection to a great team attitude and unity.
“It has been really tough, we did not start well. We had coach (Brandon) Truter coming in and made a lot of changes and we had to work on the attitude, the humbleness and the unity of the club and we actually achieved that.”
Until their relegation in the 2014/15 season, Swallows had played every season of the Premier Division, since their formation in 1947.
The club finished bottom of the National First Division the following season and were relegated again to the SAFA Second Division.
They purchased the franchise of Maccabi for R8 million prior to the 2019/20 season and gained promotion in their first attempt.
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By Ofhani Munyai