Township Rollers midfielder Mogogi Gabonamong has retired from international football. The former Zebras maestro announced his retirement on Independence Day before Botswana and Ethiopia match. Mogogi decided to hang up his boots from international arena because of age. The 33-year-old pointed out that he has reached the years to concentrate only on club football. Gabonamong has played in the national colours for over 15 years having played at all levels of the national teams.
The utility player broke into the senior team as a youngster at the age of 17. He played for both the senior national team and the junior team at the time. Even though he feels that he did not reach his ultimate goal while in the international arena he is happy with what he attained. He said it has always been his desire to play in Europe but ending up in South Africa is something every player locally is aiming for. In South Africa he played for top teams like Supersport United, Santos and Bloemfontein Celtic.
“I believe I have achieved much in international football looking at the fact that I was volunteering for a long time. Reaching the African Cup of Nations finals was the greatest achievement,” said Gabonamong. He, however, said with more support he could have gone places to realise his childhood dream of playing in Europe. Even so, the no-nonsense defensive midfielder cum defender does not regret any moment of his playing time in the blue, white and black colours. He said his greatest moment of all times was when the Zebras beat Tunisia 1-nil at the University of Botswana (UB) stadium. This was during the AFCON 2012 qualifiers.
Soccer commentators feel that Gabonamong’s retirement has come at the right time as his age has advanced. They say he leaves a great legacy behind. According to Mmoni Segopolo, Gabonamong has done very well. “Gabonamong has done a lot for the national team and no one can argue about this. I believe it is time for him to make way for youngsters to come and carry on where he has left because now age is not on his side,” said Segopolo. However some pitched a question of whether Gabonamong’s retirement will not have an impact on the national team’s bid of qualifying for the AFCON 2015. Segopolo nonetheless feels that his time has come and the Zebras technical team will have to look for his replacement.
“I do not want to believe that his decision will have that impact on the team’s qualifying chances. There are a lot of upcoming players who can do the job and we need to be ready for these circumstances and produce more players for the future,” he said. Even Gabonamong himself feels the retirement has come at the right time, looking at his long-time of service. He urged upcoming players to always be determined and committed on what they are doing for them to succeed. He said he is happy to have played for the national team, adding that it gave him hope and motivation that he can achieve more. Gabonamong advised the players to aim high and gave an example of himself saying he had always aimed to play in Europe but instead ended up in South Africa which is not bad.