Now that the former Orlando Pirates playmaker has exchanged Gauteng for the Western Cape, though, he hopes to rejuvenate his career after joining Ajax Cape Town on a two-year deal on Wednesday.
Mokoena used to fly down the right flank when bursting on to the professional scene with Pirates in 2003, and his skill on the ball made him immensely popular with the fans.
But despite being one of few South Africans to have played for every national team from Under-17 to Bafana Bafana, Mokoena only has eight senior caps to his name, and has spent the last eight years at Mamelodi Sundowns.
He played just 47 minutes for the “Brazilians” last season, though, as injuries and Pitso Mosimane’s star-studded squad meant that there were few playing opportunities.
Ajax, though, offered him a life-line during the off-season and took him along to George for a training camp, where coach Roger de Sa was suitably impressed to offer Mokoena a new deal.
Now the 29-year-old hopes to repay the faith shown in him by the Urban Warriors. “This has given me a totally different view to football. Ajax Cape Town are very professional in everything that they do, on and off the field. I was so impressed with the way the coaching staff and management handle things, they really made me feel like part of the team,” Mokoena told the club website on Wednesday.
“It’s really great to see the amount of young players who are given a chance to play at Ajax Cape Town, and I’m happy to be part of it. I want to thank the coach and management of the club for giving me this opportunity. I am very excited to wear the Ajax Cape Town jersey and I’m ready to give my all for the club.”
Mokoena will fill the void at right wing after Riyaad Norodien’s move to Pirates, and will form a formidable attacking unit alongside the likes of fellow new recruits Mark Mayambela and Thabo Mosadi, as well as strikers Prince Nxumalo, Nathan Paulse and Tashreeq Morris.
And there are sure to be high emotions on September 13, when Mokoena could make his Ajax debut against the Buccaneers at Cape Town Stadium.
Original source: Fresh start for ‘Cheeseboy’ at Ajax