Hard work pays off

2017-07-18 13:33
PMB-born Kaizer Chiefs star Ryan Moon is proof that the sky really is the limit after netting a goal on his Bafana Bafana debut at just 20 years old.

PMB-born Kaizer Chiefs star Ryan Moon is proof that the sky really is the limit after netting a goal on his Bafana Bafana debut at just 20 years old. (Via Twitter, @Safa_Net)

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Woodlands-raised Maritzburg College old boy Ryan Moon is not letting his recent achievement in his first Bafana Bafana appearance go to his head.

The 20-year-old Kaizer Chiefs centre-forward’s perseverance and determination finally paid off this past weekend, when his long-awaited dream of playing for the national team became a reality.

Moon not only got his selection in Stuart Baxter’s starting line-up, he also managed to hit the back of the net just 28 minutes into the game, away to the Zebras.

In an interview with The Witness last year, when he joined the Soweto giants, Moon said his goal was to get regular game time for his club, and get himself into the national Under-23 team, and ultimately play for Bafana Bafana one day, like his older brother, Maritzburg United and former Bafana defender, Bryce. Now, a year later, his dream has come true.

An elated Moon admits it has been a long road.

“I feel great and I give God all the praise and glory. Even today I am still happy I just want to get more and more goals.

“They say dreams do come true and I am so excited it happened exactly the way I said it before the game.”

The first leg of the 2018 Chan qualifier in Botswana, ended in an impressive 2-0 win for South Africa, meaning they have an advantage going into the second leg.

However, his soccer-mad family were not afforded the opportunity to watch their son live in action, due to the non-broadcast of the game.

Brother Bryce had to rely on social media updates, as his younger sibling got onto a list of great Bafana players who scored on their debuts.

Some of the first names that spring to mind when thinking of dream senior national team debuts are the likes of soccer legend Doctor Khumalo, Jabu Mahlangu, Rudolph Seale, Pitso Mosimane as well as the late John “Shoes” Moshoeu.

Moon received plenty of congratulatory messages from his family and friends.

“My phone was buzzing with all my family and friends sending me messages, and when I got back to the hotel I phoned my mother and she put me on speaker — so I spoke to her, my father and my brothers and they were all excited for me,’’ Moon said.

Bafana will host Botswana in the second leg on Saturday, and Moon knows the Zebras will not be a walk in the park as they fight for a place in the third and final round of the competition qualifiers. “We can’t rest on our laurels. We have to go out there and fight, we have to make sure that we don’t lose. It’s easier for them to come back — if you give them a sniff at goal and they score first, then they think they can take us, so we have to give it our all again.”

The Team of Choice graduate sees his achievement as a good omen ahead of the new Absa Premiership season and one of his aspirations is to bring more pleasure to both his domestic club and national team this season.

The second leg is scheduled to take place at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg, with kickoff at 3 pm.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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