New dad on the block Mokoena targets WC qualification with Bafana

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Being a new dad has released a new burst of energy which Teboho Mokoena says has affected his work ethic and the hunger to excel in all that he does — on a whole new level.

He and his girlfriend of four years have recently welcomed the birth of their first born son into the world.

Out on the pitch, the SuperSport United midfielder doubles up as a central holding midfielder who also helps out in attack, always searching for those goal-scoring opportunities to help his side shine up in the final third.

Off the pitch, when he is not working on his shooting technique and setpiece taking in training, the 24-year old Olympian shifts his focus to the world of academics, where he is currently pursuing his BCOM and Business Management qualification with UNISA.

All of these Mokoena does with the clear intentions of wanting to better himself and tap into new levels of his playing career and academic life which will set him up for a soft landing in his life after football.

“It feels great being a dad,” Mokoena says with a light chuckle coming across his voice, sound elated to share the news of new role life has blessed him with.

“It’s the kind of experience which is second to none in my view. It affects the way you think and how you do things. You become more clear and intentional on what you really want to achieve because you know that there is this other human life that is dependent on you not to fail. And you just can’t.

“It’s a whole new burst of energy, and I’ve been enjoying it so far.”

A part of Mokoena’s intentions he has set for himself this season is to become a regular call-up in coach Hugo Broos’ new-look Bafana Bafana who will take on Ethiopia in back-to-back 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers early next month. His consistent performances at club has since helped him manifest that dream following his recent inclusion into the Bafana Bafana squad that is to report for camp in the upcoming FIFA break.

As it stands, Bafana Bafana are top of Group G and back-to-back wins against their upcoming opponents will put them in pole position in earning a ticket to Qatar next year for the global event. The first leg will take place away from home on the 9th of October while the return leg will be played here at home on the 12th.

“All I ever wanted to do was to play football on a professional level since I was a kid,” Mokoena says. “It is only after I had moved to SuperSport and started earning National call-ups from SA Under-20s that I realized that there was more to dream and work for in my professional career.”

“I started being more intentional in what I wanted to achieve and just worked towards realizing those goals. I have since played in the (2017) U-20 FIFA World Cup, one (2019) U-23 AFCON tournament and also featured in the Olympics. My goal now is set on helping Bafana qualify for next year’s FIFA World Cup tournament which will take place in Qatar. I believe this goal can be achieved, just as long we do not drop in our performance when we take Ethiopia in these upcoming two crucial fixtures.

“I have watched them in their previous two matches against Ghana and Zimbabwe and they put in a decent fight, although they lost in their first group match against Ghana,” Mokoena adds. “We will prepare accordingly and do our utmost best to make the country proud in both of those fixtures.”

By Mohau Ramashidja