Mokotjo’s association with FC Cincinnati goes all the way back to youth days at SuperSport

Kamohelo Mokotjo. File photo
Kamohelo Mokotjo. File photo
Image: VI Images via Getty Images

Kamohelo Mokotjo’s association with Gerard Nijkamp‚ the general manager of the Bafana Bafana star’s new club FC Cincinnati‚ goes back even further than when the two won a Dutch Cup together at PEC Zwolle in 2014.

Mokotjo‚ out of contract at Brentford after the League Championship team narrowly missed out on winning the playoff final and promotion to the Premier League‚ was announced as Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Cincinnati’s new signing on Thursday.

Cincinatti are managed by former Holland and Manchester United central defensive star Jaap Stam.

Nijkamp was technical director of PEC when Mokotjo’s side won the 2013-14 KNVB Cup. Mokotjo said hooking up again with Nijkamp and also centreback Maikel van der Werff‚ also part of that 2014 Zwolle combination‚ played a part in his decision to join Cincinatti as he seeks a new challenge in the US.

“I mean‚ yeah‚ I’ve had a long history of football. But I just felt like now is the right moment for a new challenge at a club where they have big potential and are willing to challenge themselves‚” Mokotjo said in an introductory video interview on Cincinnati’s website.

“Kamo is hitting that profile.” Hear from GM Gerard Nijkamp on new signing Kamohelo Mokotjo fitting into the FC Cincinnati squad.

“We [Mokotjo and Van der Werff] have spoken before the interest and recently we’ve been talking when the club was interested in me. So he’s given me a good feeling about coming over and joining the boys‚ the technical staff.

“But if I were to sum it up in one word it’s that everything to do with FC Cincinnati has to do with potential‚ and that’s what I want to be a part of.

“I always feel pressure to prove myself. But it’s good knowing there will be people around me who understand the type of player I am.

“And that also gives me confidence‚ but not being comfortable. It’s just to go in and express myself from day one.”

Nijkamp’s association with Mokotjo‚ though‚ goes back further to when the Bafana international was still a youth player for SuperSport United.

“It was a small pat of his career that he was at PEC Zwolle. He started at SuperSport United and I did some work with the Dutch federation with that club with coaching education and know him from that at that time also‚” Nijkamp said.

“He came through a strong youth academy at that club. He played first team matches at PEC Zwolle and we built a legacy at the club from the time he was in the team.

“And we had an opportunity to bring him to the MLS‚ and I’m very happy and excited about it.”