Mhlathe – We’ll find our way back

Veteran Jomo Cosmos midfielder Lucky Mhlathe is upbeat about playing in the National First Division (NFD) and returning to the top flight of South African soccer next season.

“We’ve been here before,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s not what we wanted but we have to deal with it. The teams here are all determined to get to the top but we have done it before and we know how we will do it again.”

Cosmos were relegated in 2008 from the Absa Premiership but won the 2008/09 Inland Stream to make a quick return. However, they struggled in the 2009/2010 season and will campaign again in the NFD.

“The players we had were not used to the rigors of the Premiership. It was a tough season for us and we tried our best to stay there. But we just could not manage and here we are,” the Sebokeng native said.

“This team is now stronger and hungry to get back to winning ways. We’ve had a very bad season and we owe it to ourselves to return to the Premiership.”

“I am not undermining the other teams but we have the experience and we have the players to do the job for us. We are going straight to the top.”

The rugged defender has been with Cosmos since 1997 and says he has never thought of leaving Ezenkosi even when times were tough.

“After five years with the team I thought why I should leave. I am happy here, I am valued and I respect and love this club. We have seen many players come and go but there are guys here who are like family to me and I won’t leave them,” the 30-year old said.

“We’ve had good times here too and I know that we can go back to winning trophies and of course this league,” he said of the two Coca-Cola Cups and the SAA Supa 8 trophy Cosmos won.

Cosmos kick off their NFD season with a home game against the University of Pretoria on Sunday at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.