Former Baroka coach Sello Chokoe has paid an emotional tribute to his ‘son’ Khunadi Nkoana who passed away on Tuesday at a Polokwane Hospital.
Nkoana was in the books on Limpopo ABC Motsepe League side, Magesi FC during the time of his passing.
The 28-year-old was identified by Chokoe in 2005 while he was still at Primary school level at a local tournament in Seshego, and was instrumental in seeing him being selected for the Transnet School of Excellence as well joining Baroka in 2010.
Nkoana later played under Chokoe at Black Leopards and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
“The first time I met him he was at Seshego to visit his aunt and the boys were playing football and I could see the potential in him so since that day I made sure they moved him to Seshego (from Ga-Semenya) to attend school there so that we can teach him football,” Chokoe told FARPost.
“It was only for one year because after one year when he completed grade 5 likely there trials for Transnet School of Excellence in Polokwane so I took most of my boys there and Khunadi was the only player from my side that was selected to join the school of excellence and given a bursary until he completed grade 12.
“He was then part of my squad at Baroka since 2010 when I joined and yah the rest is history. He was like a Son to me and our relationship was also like that of a young and Older Brother and a mentor. Our relationship has always been fruitful and yah we have always been in touch and he would always update me on his private life, especially with his partner and all that so he is someone that never hide anything from me,” said a sobbing Chokoe.
Nkoana was signed by SuperSport United following his impressive performances in the 2011 Nedbank Cup for Baroka, a move that later fell off after a dispute with his former agent Karabo Mathang.
“Sometimes most talented players do not reach their full potential because of the challenges they come across. I remember Khunadi after we played the Nedbank Cup he had couple of offers and eventually signed with SuperSport but there was a problem with agents and SuperSport ended up not registering him and we went to Chippa United.
“So he had a very huge potential, remember that he won at least two man of the match awards during the Nedbank Cup. One would sometimes ask why this player was not taken by one of the big teams especially after those performances and he was also a well-developed player from the school of excellence so for me he was unlike not to reach his full potential. For me he had the potential to play for all the big three and Bafana Bafana but unfortunately he didn’t have the luck,” added the current TTM CEO.
“He has always been a good boy, friendly with people and he loved himself. I remember at Baroka we used to say he is a well-dressed player because after training he would always shower and wear nice clothes, look smart so he was always a clean player who looked after himself,”
The Family of Nkoana are yet to announce the details of his funeral service. He was born at Ga-Semenya, 25 kilometres outside of Polokwane.
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By Ofhani Munyai