Bloemfontein – The 18-year-old Grey College soccer captain and striker, Tshegofatso Mabaso, who has proven himself on the fields at junior level, is set to hit the big leagues.
The player has travelled to Durban with Premier Soccer League side Bloemfontein Celtic to face AmaZulu tomorrow night in the Telkom Knockout competition.
In an exclusive interview with Courant Sport, Mabaso said he is grateful for coach Ernst Middendorp showing faith in him.
“I’m very excited. I definitely couldn’t have done it without all the support I’ve had recently,” Mabaso said.
He added that he believes Phunya Sele Sele can go all the way and win the title they won in 2012.
“It’s definitely a big thing, because in cup competitions you only have one chance. If you don’t take that chance, then unfortunately you have to lose, but the team has been working hard and I think we actually stand a chance of going all the way,” he said sharing his thoughts on the cup completion.
As a marksman, the player is happy to join a side which suites his football.
“The way we’ve been playing our midfield creates a lot of chances for us upfront, which is something strikers need in the modern game to score plenty of goals,” he said.
With the 2014 Nedbank Grey College Soccer Tournament kicking off tomorrow in the City of Roses, Mabaso said he would have liked one more crack at facing bitter rivals and reigning champions, Norkem Park High School from Kempton Park.
“I’m definitely not happy, but it’s one of those things. You have to sacrifice in order to make a success of your life and this is one of those sacrifices I have to make,” he said showing a great level of maturity.
Meanwhile, director of Soccer at Grey College, Ludwig Koekemoer, said the school is delighted to have Mabaso get the opportunity at Celtic.
“It’s a massive achievement and we’re so privileged to have a boy of his nature and stature playing at senior level,” said Koekemoer.
“The contribution he makes to the school is immeasurable and invaluable,” he added.
“A lot of credit must go to coach Nicolas Koupis. He identified Tshego at a young age and they tried to work on his technical ability.
“Tshegos’ communication skills are excellent and as a leader he has excelled and he’s out first team captain.
“I must be honest with you, this is the way forward. It’s put Grey soccer on the map and it’s a tremendous boost for us,” Koekemoer concluded.
Whether or not Mabaso will get game time tomorrow night remains to be seen, but he will without a doubt be making a massive name for himself in the years to come.
Tomorrow night’s match at the Princess Magogo Stadium kicks off at 20:15.