One would think that a frustrating spell on the sidelines due to a long-term injury would dampen his spirit, but Kaizer Chiefs winger Joseph Molangoane is already dusting himself up and raring to go for the remaining matches of the 2019/20 Absa Premiership campaign.
Born in Alexandra, Johannesburg, 32 years ago, the explosive player’s quality and talent is undoubted, and in this frank interview with Opera News Sports Editor, Kassian Cliffird Thudinyane, “Popo”, as he’s affectionately known in football circles, engages in a chit-chat about lockdown, overcoming his injury nightmare and looking forward to aiding the Glamour Boys capture their first Premier Soccer League (PSL) title in over four seasons.
CT: How has lockdown been treating you so far? And how has your training routine been coming along?
JM: Lockdown at the beginning was a strange process to get use to. Being home the whole day, working out in the house and attending work meetings in the house was a bit of a battle because obviously I’ve been used to driving to work and back, spend half of my morning with the team, coaches and doctors, interact and physically touch.
Now everything was switched up and I needed now to adjust to the virtual meetings and working out alone indoors. I’ve since adjusted and have appreciated what I get to work with. Of recent, I’ve been able to jog outside and workout in the yard, which makes me very happy.
In the morning I do my rehabilitation and then join the rest of the team on zoom and workout with the rest of the boys. On days I don’t exercise on zoom with the team, I get to go outside and work on myself in the mornings and evenings.
CT: Have you had time to undertake any initiative by giving back in any kind of way in your respective community during lockdown period?
JM: Yes, since the lockdown I have identified and hand-picked a few families to buy groceries for in Alexandra Township. The food parcels consist of essential foods and vegetables which I think have assisted immensely from the feedback I’ve gotten.
These are families that have both been affected by the lockdown and families that are lead by elderly citizens.
CT: Since incurring your injury back in August 2018, how hard has it been for you being out of the game for almost 2 years now?
JM: It’s been a rollercoaster journey. Whenever I recover from an injury, I then go back to being injured again which has affected my mental state. I am obviously here to play football and the fact that I haven’t done so in 2 years is a tad bit disappointing to me. However I’ve received so much support from management, my teammates and my fans. At home I am also being offered a lot of support by family and friends. I stay encouraged knowing it is for a greater cause than me. I don’t give up and stay up with my workouts, my training and my rehabilitation. I also attend therapy on odd weeks to just help me balance my thoughts and my positivity. I am grateful for the opportunity of still being able to play after the injury.
CT: And lastly, what will your personal targets/achievements be once you get back on the field of play?
JM: Since I haven’t played for the 2 years, I am grateful for the lockdown as that has also helped me recover to the point of my satisfaction. I believe the doctors and coach will agree. I look forward to joining the first team and contending for the league title along with my team mates. Winning the league title as part of the team would mean so much to me as this would be my first one. I’d love to get back in the field of play and show the team and fans that no matter what, you will always get back to your feet.
When league action resumes, the Glamour Boys will have a tough fixture on their hands when they host Bidvest Wits.