The 10th position finish in the DStv Premiership this season by Baroka was the highest since their promotion from the first division in 2016.
Bakgaga had to retain their status through the promotion/relegation play-offs in their first season, finished 14th in their second and third season.
But under the guidance of Matsemela Thoka, in his first full season in charge as head coach, the Ga-Mphahlele side finished 10th, missing out on a top eight position by only two points.
Thoka who has been part of the technical team set up since their days in the ABC Motsepe League says gratitude should go to the chairman of the club Khurishi Mphahlele for giving him the opportunity.
“I told myself that I don’t want to see myself disappointing this man (Khurishi Mphahlele) because out there people were surprised when the Chairman appointed me as head coach to take over from Dylan Kerr,” said Thoka.
“People started calling asking if I can make so it was difficult for me to handle that my brother but because the Chairman showed the support and belief I amended to achieve what I did. But I was not alone I was working as a collective with the technical team because football is not about one man.
“It’s all about teamwork, that’s why we call it a team. So I am very happy about the support that the Chairman gave me because as you could have seen people thought the Chairman took a risk and a wrong decision to appoint me. But I am very grateful and very happy because he is the only person who has put me on the map now and to show people that I can be a head coach,” added Thoka.
With the exception of Gift Motupa who was on loan from Orlando Pirates during the 2017/18 season when he received a Bafana Bafana call up, Evidence Makgopa and Denwin Farmer are the only payers from the club to be called into the SA senior national team.
“Every time I talk to these boys I tell them that they must never undermine themselves, they must see themselves playing for the national team because the country needs them. I am not surprised to see two of our boys going to the senior national team. Other boys need to pick up their socks so that they can see themselves playing for their country,” he said.
Farmer and Makgopa have been called up to the Bafana Bafana squad that will do duty against The Ugandan Cranes on Thursday, 10 June.
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By Ofhani Munyai