Mabokgwane: I am only getting started

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Bloemfontein Celtic goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane has insisted that there is much more to come from him as he is eager to improve his game and hopefully put himself back in Bafana Bafana contention.

The 32-year-old goalie has spent most of his career playing for a variety of clubs in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), having turned out for Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits, Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars and Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Mabokgwane joined Celtic from Pirates in 2019 to revive his career and he has since become the club’s number one between the sticks with five clean sheets in 21 games in all competitions.

“I am only getting started, I feel good, I am happy, I am getting game time,” said Mabokgwane in an interview with iDiski TV.

Despite being over 30, the Absa Premiership journeyman still harbours ambitions of adding to his 11 Bafana caps and play overseas.

Mabokgwane was part of the Bafana squad that featured at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) but has not played for the national team in almost five years.

“I am just looking forward to putting in the performances and go back to Bafana Bafana, complete my career by playing a few seasons overseas, I still have a long way to go, I’m just getting started,” he said.

The shot-shopper went on to explain that he left Pirates due to the ‘rotation system’ as there was fierce competition for places between him, Filipe Ovono, Brighton Mhlongo, Siyabonga Mpontshane and Wayne Sandilands.

“There was a lot of rotation, they were never really sure who was their number, ” – Mabokgwane. Picture: Orlando Pirates. 

“Only this season they have decided that Sandilands is their number one but my whole three years at the club, we shared, there was just rotation going on the whole time.

“At the time when I was there was no clear number one and that affected me because I wanted to play as the number one and to be consistent and to grow but with the quality that is there you cannot really blame the rotation system that happens because if a team has too much quality and you don’t play so well you will be dropped as somebody else is waiting and that’s what happened,” he said.

“So I cannot really blame anyone because if it meant I was supposed to play 100 percent performances each and every game for me to play 30 games then that’s what it was expected and if I didn’t achieve that, I couldn’t perform at a 100% every single match and then I was dropped, that’s unfortunate and I had to accept.

“If you keep clean sheets and win Man of the Match awards every game, then they won’t change you and unfortunately, I didn’t do that. When my contract ended, we sat and agreed to part ways,” concluded Mabokgwane.

RELATED STORY: Being a goalkeeper takes courage

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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