Tlou Segolela: Pirates' rising star

By Drum Digital
20 October 2010

HIS silver-grey Golf 6 is parked outside in the pouring Joburg rain, while inside he’s glued to his small TV, draped in a brown blanket. He’s watching skits by township comedians The Crazy Entertainers and it’s clear that the player who has ignited the Premier Soccer League and fuelled Orlando Pirates’ resurgence this season does not have big plans for his Thursday night.

“I’m just having a quiet home night,” says Tlou Segolela as he welcomes us into his two-bedroom flat in Fourways.But instead of a cosy pad on a rainy night we find a room bare to the rafters except for a few plastic chairs, the camping chair our man is reclining in, a cooler box filled with ice and a two-litre bottle of sparkling granadilla, two beds with duvets and a stack of house CDs next to a PlayStation gaming console on the TV stand.

“As you can see, I haven’t really moved in properly,” the 22-year-old says with a lopsided grin. “I’ve only been here for three weeks. I was in Kempton Park temporarily, but before that I was in Bloemfontein.”

Then again, the fastest player in the PSL is not concerned about home decorations – he has enough on his plate. Having returned to the Buccaneers at the beginning of this season after a one-and-a-half season loan spell at Bloemfontein Celtic, the youngster is working harder than ever on his game. His impressive form comes after helping Celtics to a commendable sixth place on the league standings last season and almost making it into the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad.

Although he didn’t make the final cut, the midfielder’s not fazed.

“I was surprised to be called up to the World Cup training camps, but it showed that I was doing something right and the coach wanted to have a closer look at me,” he says.

More than just doing something right, today he’s become a crowd puller. No sooner does the scrawny figure dressed in the famous black and white take to the field than the crowds begin to whistle and cheer. He’s a game changer – coming on the field to shape the game with his unbelievable speed and agility. He turns defenders, outpaces them down the flanks, provides dangerous balls into the box and often injects the necessary spark to break a deadlock.

This season Bra Sox, as he is affectionately known, has come of age.

HE didn’t always want to be a footballer. In fact there was a time when he just wanted to be a herd boy.

“I loved looking after my father’s cattle,” the star says. “And I believe that being a herd boy helped me become the man I am today, because even as a young child I would go to the fields early in the morning and return at 5 pm. So I never had time to be involved in any bad things. And I learnt to run really fast!”

He became a renowned sprinter at Mokgoba Primary School and Seshego High in Polokwane, famous for his 100m, 200m and 800m sprints. “Some people thought I should pursue athletics but I couldn’t take the panic attacks. I would shake nervously before each race.”

Read the full article in DRUM of 28 October 2010

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