Polokwane City has not lost a single game ever since goalkeeper Modiri Marumo returned to the starting line-up following the issuing of his work permit.
The veteran goalkeeper, who was ever present for Rise and Shine with 30 league starts under his name last season, has been waiting for his documents since the club’s change of plans about his future. City had planned to release Marumo at the beginning of the season since he was not in the coach’s plans for this season.
But the arrival of Kostadin Papic at the Limpopo based club, saw the Botswana international’s fortunes changing as he was drafted back in the club’s plans for the 2014/15 season. Marumo acquired his work permit in mid-October and ever since he has starred in all Polokwane City games helping the team to avoid defeat.
Prior to his availability, Polokwane City has played nine games, losing seven, drawing one and only registering one victory. Marumo returned to the team on the 22nd of October against title challengers BidVest Wits and helped his side to a surprise 2-0 win. City had lost 5-1 to Bloemfontein Celtic in the previous game. Marumo went on to play in vital role in a 5-2 away thrashing of Free State Stars and another 2-1 victory over on-form Mpumalanga Black Aces.
During the week, Marumo helped his team to hold log leaders, Kaizer Chiefs to a goalless draw. Papic who replaced Bobbie Solomon could also claim the credit for the team’s change in fortunes. His faith in Marumo has seen him collecting an impressive 10 points in the last four games out of possible 12.
In the absence of Marumo, City deployed Dino Visser in the poles but his lack experience did not help. Marumo’s experience and leadership has helped in reinforcing the defence the Polokwane based outfit. Marumo, who also plied his trade in Egypt few years ago, is good in marshalling his defence. At 38, Marumo can still play three or four more seasons, since it is believed by football pundits and physical trainers that goalkeepers can reach their best even at 40.
Marumo, who have been playing in South Africa since 2010 is also part of James Buttler’s national team. Although not a regular his presence helps in guiding the relatively young squad. ‘Carlos’ previously played for Bay United, where he was signed by Major David Bright. Marumo joined Polokwane City in 2012 and helped the team to gain promotion to the elite league in the same season.
All in all Polokwane City conceded 22 goals in 9 games they played without Marumo. Upon return, Marumo has played 4 games and conceded only 3 goals. Marumo’s age has stopped him from demonstrating his agility as a goalkeeper, but what comes to the fore in his performances is his massive experience.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.