Player’s wish comes true

2018-10-03 06:02
The Nedbank Ke Yona Team players with representatives of the clubs they would trial. From the left are Ditheko Mototo (Celtic), Buyelekhaya Velelwandle, Tendani Thidiela (Black Leopards), Thabo Mogotsi and Lesley Pietersen. Photo: Supplied

The Nedbank Ke Yona Team players with representatives of the clubs they would trial. From the left are Ditheko Mototo (Celtic), Buyelekhaya Velelwandle, Tendani Thidiela (Black Leopards), Thabo Mogotsi and Lesley Pietersen. Photo: Supplied

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Aspiring footballer Buyelekhaya Velelwandle has had his wish to trial at Bloemfontein Celtic come true after he received overwhelming votes from fans.

He is one of the 2018 Nedbank Ke Yona Team 16 graduates.

Velelwandle, with his other peers, voted for by fans of the 16 clubs in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), were officially presented to the respective teams during an event in Johannesburg on Wednesday (26/09).

Velelwandle was voted for by fans to start his journey to stardom by trialing at Phunya Sele Sele.

The Eastern Cape lad revealed he personally campaigned that fans vote for him to trial for a month at Celtic. And those impressed by his talent responded positively to make Velelwandle’s wish a reality.

“On being informed about the voting system, Celtic of all clubs in the top rank has been my team of choice. I chose Celtic because I have seen that the club believes in youth and does make it possible for them to realise their dreams.

“I personally canvass at home in Mthatha that fans vote for me to go to Celtic and I’m delighted my wish has come true. Testimony is there for everyone to see what I mean about Celtic’s reputation to offer the youth opportunities,” Velelwandle (23) says.

If offered a professional contract by Celtic, Velelwandle could join provincial peer Bongani Sam, a gem player born in Port Elizabeth.

Sam (21) sealed a professional contract at Phunya Sele Sele in 2017 after he impressed during his month-long trial at the team during the tenure of then coach Veselin Jelusic.

Velelwandle’s task is to show his magic to current Celtic coach Steve Komphela, one of the few South African-born coaches who believes in youthful talent and mentoring young players to become stars.

Velelwandle boosted his campaign to be voted for by fans putting on a good display for the Ke Yona Team against the reigning champions, Free State Stars, during the Nedbank Challenge encounter on 9 September. Ea Lla Koto won by 2 – 1 though.

The duo of Lesley Pietersen from Bloemfontein and Thabo Mogotsi of Welkom were voted for by fans to trial for a month at Ea Lla Koto and Black Leopards, respectively.

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