The club misses my father's leadership, says Rantsi

Stars begin promotion bid to honour departed Mokoena

18 November 2020 - 08:52
By Charles Baloyi
Rantsi Mokoena
Image: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix Rantsi Mokoena

Free State Stars are determined to win the GladAfrica Championship 2020-21 season in honour of their late chairman Mike Mokoena.

The founder of Ea Lla Koto passed away on June 17 after a long battle with cancer. His son Rantsi Mokoena says his father’s dying wish was to see the Free State-based club being promoted to the Premier Soccer League next season.

“It is painful and emotional for everyone. We miss our father, and It’s been a tough year. But we want to make him proud by winning the league title. Before he drew his last breath, he told me that he wanted his team back in the PSL. The new season is all about honouring him and making his dream come true,” said an emotional Rantsi.  

The PSL confirmed the league fixtures for the second division on Monday. Ea Lla Koto open their league campaign against Uthongathi at the Goble Park Stadium, Bethlehem, on November 28.

Mokoena, who refused the new title of chairman of Ea Lla Koto, said the club would unveil their new players next week. He said his father taught him a lot about the family business and the football side of things.

“You can call me the CEO, director, manager, bus driver or ball boy, but not the chairman. Even though he died, my father is still the founder and chairman of the club. I don’t want to be called the chairman. It is personal, and that title belongs to my father. I worked closely with him, and he taught me how to run this team, but I am not the chairman. We will make a couple of announcements next week about the new faces and our plans for the new season,” said Mokoena.  

“We know it’s a tough league to win, but we are prepared for the challenge. The plan is to start by collecting three points. We are ready and determined to win the league title this season. We had our internal issues last season, but we sorted everything, and we are on the same page. The players know what is at stake this season, and we are ready,” added Mokoena.

Meanwhile, newly promoted teams Bizana Pondo Chiefs and Pretoria Callies will start their league campaigns on December 5 and 6 respectively. 

Fixtures (all match kick-off at 3.30pm)

Nov 27 (Friday)

Cape Town All Stars v JDR Stars, Parow Park Stadium; Cape Town Spurs v Polokwane City, Cape Town Stadium.

Nov 28

Free State Stars v Uthongathi, Goble Park; TS Sporting v Cape Umoya United, Kabokweni Stadium; Sekhukhune United v Royal AM, Makhulong Stadium.

Nov 29

University of Pretoria v Richards Bay, Absa Tuks Stadium.