Mphahlele's journey to the PSL

Telkom Knockout

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Mphahlele grew up as a Moroka Swallows fan and says he always loved receiving club-related gifts from his uncle. 

And while it was not always a dream of his to own a football team in the PSL, the passion for it grew when he wanted a bigger challenge than running a softball outfit in Lebowakgomo. 

“I grew up supporting Moroka Swallows. My uncle was Malane Mphahlele and he was working at Moroka Swallows, may his soul rest in peace. He would come back with replica jerseys and other things from the club. I would listen to Swallows matches on radio and I developed a love for the club,” Mphahlele tells

“I was running a softball team in the province, with the view of helping my community to have something to keep them busy to minimise the crime rate. I was so successful with the softball team, but we wanted something that would give us a bigger challenge.

“So I said let’s try football. Now we are in the final and it’s a great achievement for us. I hope this will not be the last time we reach a final.”

Baroka were established in 2008 and have since done some remarkable things, from reaching the 2011 Nedbank Cup semi-finals while still in the third tier, to winning promotion to the Premier Soccer League. Now they are just 90, or 120 minutes, away from lifting their first major trophy.