Sekhukhune United coach Brandon Truter has given an update on the limited game-time of former Bafana Bafana captain Kamohelo Mokotjo so far, citing the good form of Given Mashikinya in the deep-lying position.
Mokotjo, just like Mashikinya, joined the club in the January transfer window, in a move which surprised many.
The 31-year-old joined Babino Noko after leaving Major League Soccer side Cincinnati in November 2021.
He had no club since then and he is still making his way back to full match-fitness at Sekhukhune.
But he also found Mashikinya in much better condition in the number 6 position, which sees him waiting on the wings.
As a consequence, Mokotjo has featured in just two league matches so far – starting against Marumo Gallants and Richards Bay – the matches Sekhukhune won and lost, respectively.
“It is about breaking into the line-up,” Truter said.
“I think Mashikinya has played well. We also have Tlotlo Lepile who has played well and Given has to stay on top of his game. And for Kamo it is about waiting for the game-time now.”
Sekhukhune’s squad is packed with experienced players, but results have been patchy, with one win in the last five league matches.
Truter said he must be given credit because he found the club lying 15th on the log when he took over during the FIFA World Cup break.
In his first five matches after the resumption of the league, Sekhukhune drew the first with AmaZulu – Truter’s former club – and won four, which saw them climb up the log.
He then lost the next two, before beating Richards Bay last month. But they have now again lost the last two league matches – against Cape Town City and Royal AM, respectively, but is still targeting a top 8 finish.
“Remember, I took over when the club was lying 15 position,” said Truter, whose side are in 11th spot on the table with 27 points after 22 matches played.
“The club was in 15th position and the progress is there for everyone to see. But with the crop of players at my disposal, top eight would be nice and that is the mandate as well.
“So far, since I’ve coached [in the top flight], I have never missed out of the top eight. Yes, the league is so close and we have got five games at home and hopefully that will count into our favour.”
Sekhukhune are preparing for their Nedbank Cup round of 16 match against Cape Town Spurs at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday.
They are in the round of 16 for the first time after losing on the first hurdle in the past two seasons since their existence.