For the last seven years, Maani ‘Abu Trekka’ Ditshupo has been a mainstay in the Township Rollers side, dominating games with his strength, speed and skill.
The attacking midfielder has made jersey number 22 his own and is revered by the Popa faithful, who regard the tough-tackling captain as the jewel in Mapalastina’s glittering crown.
Now in the twilight of his career – he turns 34 later this month – Ditshupo looks set to lead Rollers to a 4th successive league title.
Apart from thrilling fans on the football pitch, Popa’s captain fantastic is also a passionate farmer.
Q. What qualities do you think a great footballer must have?
Hmmm! I would say one should be disciplined, dedicated, passionate, committed and hard working.
Q. What do you think needs be done to improve local football?
We need to develop young talents from an early age.
Q. In your career to date, what would you say is your greatest highlight?
My greatest highlight is when Rollers reached the group stages of the CAF Champions League last year.
It was the first time a local team have progressed that far.
Q. Is there a particular match you regard as your worst performance?
We were playing against BDF XI in Molepolole.
I would say it was my worst game because we ended up losing the game and I was substituted.
I misplaced one pass that led to the goal.
Q. If you were to play for a team other than Rollers, which would it be and why?
If I would play for any other team it would be Gunners.
Their supporters electrify the atmosphere!
Q. Which team would you say is your biggest competition?
So far Orapa and Galaxy are the two teams that can give us competition because they’ve got better financial muscle.
Q. What do you think it will take for the national team to get back to winning ways?
The national team needs to pick youngsters with experienced ones to guide them.
Even if they don’t play just to advise and support them.
Q. Five things people don’t know about you?
• I like traditional music
• During the off season I go to my cattle post (Lechana)
• I have 2 kids, a boy and a girl
• I don’t drink alcohol
• I’m a shy person even though I try not to show it