Malokase hangs up boots

2015-06-03 06:00
CALLING IT QUITS: Patrick Malokase. 

Photo: 
Emile Hendricks

CALLING IT QUITS: Patrick Malokase. Photo: Emile Hendricks

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PATRICK MALOKASE on Tuesday (02/06) announced his retirement from football.

The 33-year-old former Bloemfontein Celtic striker hangs up his boots after having played top-flight football for more than a decade. He joined Bloemfontein Young Tigers in 2000 before he was offered a PSL contract by Free State Stars in 2005.

He also played for Celtic where he made a name for himself and he moved to Orlando Pirates in 2010 on a three-year deal, but he was loaned out to Platinum Stars in 2012.

Prior to his retirement, Malokase had been offered a permanent deal by the Rustenburg side that is set to expire at the end of this month.

“My 90 minutes on the pitch have come to an end. Calling it quits is something that I have been thinking of for quite some time, for almost a year to be precise. I discussed it with my family and we decided that now is the right time to retire,” Malokase told Express.

“I have always wanted to leave football on a high. I’m happy, I’m leaving football with a smile. The beautiful game has been good to me, it has provided special moments and it made me what I am today. I am most grateful I had spent those many years in football,” he said proudly.

Born and bred in Thaba Nchu, Malokase thanked fans, coaches, the chairmen of all the clubs he had played for, as well as the media.

Khoarai Khoarai, the chairman of Bloemfontein Young Tigers, Free State Stars’ chairman, Mike Mokoena, Jimmy Augusti of Bloemfontein Celtic, Irvin Khoza at Orlando Pirates and Cliff Ramoroa all deserve a special mention for what they’ve done for my career.

“Ntate Khoarai treated me like I was his very own son. He played a father-figure role to me when my father was away and working in Johannesburg. He made sure that I ate well and studied. He actually paved my way in life,” said Malokase.

“Mokoena also played a big role in my football career. He drove all the way from Qwaqwa to Thaba Nchu to negotiate my first PSL contract with my parents. He showed them respect, and for that I’m grateful.

“As for Jimmy Augousti, he was my teammate at Young Tigers. He liked me even before I joined Celtic. After he bought Celtic he made sure that I joined his club because he admired me and liked the way I played. So he bought me out of my Stars contract.

“Both Khosa and Ramoroa were also good to me and I’m happy I played for their clubs. They were supportive and took very good care of me. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all these chairmen for what they have done for me,” added Malokase.

Asked what he regarded as the highlight of his career, Malokase said signing his first professional contract was without a doubt the most memorable moment in his football life.

“Scoring my first goal in the PSL was also one of the highlights of my football career.

“Moving to Pirates and eventually winning the league with the club was a very special moment.

“There have been other special moments in my career like earning a Bafana Bafana cap, winning the top-scorer award and being chosen as the Player of the Season at Celtic. These are the moments I will forever cherish.”

Unlike some successful footballers in the country, Malokase was never in the news for all the wrong reasons and he will be remembered as one of the best footballers South Africa has produced.

“I have played in the most incredible football teams, playing with some of the best players in the country, as well as against them, and I have been lucky to have made meaningful contributions at those clubs.

“During my career, I have made a lot of friends, but Thato Matuka was and will always remain my best friend in football. We have been friends since our days at Tigers. We also played together at provincial level, but he ended up in football administration.

“Among the players I had played with, Moses Spandeel was the best teammate. He was very fast, skilful and he could pack a powerful shot. As short as he is, he could out-jump the tallest players on the field.

“I also played with Oupa Manyisa and Teko Modise at Pirates. They were equally good.”

Malokase hinted he might stay on at Dikwena by saying: “The club will always be a part of my life going forward. I would like to still be involved in football, but maybe in a different capacity, more behind the scenes.

“I am passionate about public speaking and I like analysing. My friend Thato and I are working on something. I will announce my plans in the next week or two in terms of what I’m going to do. At the moment, I’m focusing on family business. I’m in the renewable energy business with the family,” he said.

His advice to aspiring footballers is: “It is nice to become a professional footballer, but make sure that you get something to fall back on when your playing days are over. It is a wise idea to invest in education.”

Malokase also thanked his family and friends for supporting him through thick and thin

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