A ‘dream’ call-up

2018-03-14 16:48
Young Maritzburg United star Siphesihle Ndlovu says his Bafana Bafana call-up is a dream come true.

Young Maritzburg United star Siphesihle Ndlovu says his Bafana Bafana call-up is a dream come true. (Gallo images)

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Young footballer Siphesihle Ndlovu was over the moon and “still pinching myself” on Tuesday after his consistent performances for much-improved Maritzburg United brought him a call-up to Bafana Bafana.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who has won six man-of-the-match awards at club level this season, is part of a 25-man national squad picked for a four-team tournament in Zambia next week.

Pietermaritzburg-born Ndlovu’s energy and passion have helped Maritzburg United claim a healthy position in the Absa Premiership, with national coach Stuart Baxter now also seeing him as having the talent to be nurtured for future internationals.

Baxter’s team will be up against Zambia, Angola and Zimbabwe in the four-nations tournament from March 22 to March 25.

The talented youngster, who had just received the news when The Witness contacted him on Tuesday, said he was still pinching himself that he got the call-up.

“I’m chuffed to bits. I’m struggling to find the right words to express how I feel. But, to be honest I wasn’t even thinking about it.

“I  didn’t even know that they were naming the team today. I got a call from the club to say that I should come to the office after training and that’s how I found out.

“It’s a dream come true for me. Every player dreams of representing their country and just thinking about it is surreal.”

Ndlovu, who hails from KwaMpumuza in Maritzburg, has never been outside of South Africa before but always harboured ambitions of playing for Bafana Bafana, although he did not expect a call-up so soon.

He said he always found inspiration from his mother, who had been his biggest fan since childhood.

Ndlovu also said he was looking forward to the Bafana experience and reconnecting with his “home boy” and former team-mate Ryan Moon, who has been picked more than once by Baxter.

Ndlovu added: “It’s going to be the first time being in camp without my team-mates from Maritzburg, but I’m just happy that there will be a familiar face. Moon and I are good friends from when he was still at Maritzburg. So I’m looking forward to it. I come from humble beginnings, but I have big dreams.

“I have always dreamt of this chance and now it’s happening. I have to keep telling myself that it’s really happening.”

Earlier this season Ndlovu became the first player in the history of Maritzburg United to win a Player of the Month award at Premier Soccer League level.

Bafana will assemble for a camp on Sunday and depart for Zambia two days later. They are expected back home on March 27.

 

BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Chiefs), Darren Keet (Wits), Brandon Petersen (Ajax CT)

Defenders: Reeve Frosler (Wits), Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Cardoso (both Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Sifiso Hlanti (all Wits), Motjeka Madisha (Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Pirates)

Midfielders: Dean Furman, Teboho Mokoena, Aubrey Modiba (all SuperSport), Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi (both Sundowns), Siphesihle Ndlovu (Maritzburg), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford, England), Bongani Zungu (Amiens, France), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Phakamani Mahlambi (Al Ahly, Egypt)

Strikers: Percy Tau (Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba (Lille, France), Ryan Moon (Chiefs)

Read more on:    maritzburg united  |  pietermaritzburg  |  bafana bafana

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