SuperSport United winger Aubrey Modiba, who is a Nedbank Ke Yona team graduate, has offered advice to players who were chosen this week to join Premier Soccer League clubs.
His pearls of wisdom included that the 16 players should focus on their game and be fully dedicated to the cause.
“I have been there,” said the 23-year-old. “I know exactly what is going through their minds. They should show they want it more and stay grounded. They could meet players who influence them to
do bad stuff, but they should not forget why they are there in the first place. They must keep their eyes on
Modiba has proved to be one of the most successful Ke Yona graduates, having done well for Matsatsantsa.
He also represented Bafana Bafana, and he turned out for the Under-23 national team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Being selected to play for Absa Premiership clubs comes with a lot of expectations. Some players wish they could play first for smaller teams with less pressure; others, of course, want to rub shoulders with the big boys where there is little time for developing players.
But Modiba believes it doesn’t matter where the young lads end up, saying it boils down to how much the players themselves want to succeed.
“There are no specific criteria because you can be in a small team, but still not make it – all clubs are under pressure to perform.
“Some players come from reserve sides and still make it. Look at Kaizer Chiefs’ defender [Siyabonga] Ngezana or Mamelodi Sundowns’ Motjeka [Madisha]. It all comes down to how much you want it.”
The selected players will spend a month training with their respective clubs, hoping to impress.
Cameron Paulse from Cape Town, who will trial with Orlando Pirates, has a point to prove after he was overlooked by Cape Town City when he went for trials last year.
“My biggest challenge has been accepting being overlooked before, but I’m grateful that coaches Shakes Mashaba and Khabo Zondo have seen something special in me that no one saw before,” said Paulse.
“I want to prove to people back home who did not give me a chance that I can do it. I went for trials at Cape Town City, where things didn’t go well. That’s why I’m happy to join Pirates because it is a team far away from home.”
Centre back Nkanyiso Nene and right winger Karabo Mookadi have been placed with Chiefs and Sundowns, respectively.