Second round fixtures are never easy, however, Lamontville Golden Arrows shot-stopper Sifiso Mlungwana is still hopeful that his side will reach their target of finishing within the top three bracket this season.
In order to achieve that goal, though, Abafana Bes’thende first choice goalkeeper advised that they need to maintain the very mindset which has seen them to be within the top five of the DStv Premiership league standings, so far in the season.
As it stands, Arrows are fifth on the league table with seven wins, seven draws and two loses. A win in today’s fixture against Baroka FC at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium (Kick-off 17h00), would see them move a place up above Swallows FC, with 31 points.
Swallows are currently on 30 points, following their first defeat of the season against TS Galaxy this past Tuesday.
“We all know that second round fixtures are never easy because everyone is just gunning for points for survival,” Mlungwana said. “However, we are not bothered by that as we still believe that we can still achieve what we had set out for ourselves this season. We want to see ourselves within the top three bracket by the end of this season.
“We believe that it can be done. This Baroka match presents us with an opportunity to work and continue building towards our goal. We lost (2-1 against Leopards) in our previous fixture, however, we have since moved on from that result. We are now focusing on the now and everybody in the team shares the same mindset of working and pulling together as a unit towards a common goal.”
At Arrows, the 23-year old shot-stopper has featured in all 16 league matches played, with five clean sheets under his belt. This he achieved while benching some of his seniors in Namibian goalkeeper Maximilian Mbaeva (31), Zimbabwe’s Edmore Sibanda (33) and South Africa’s Nkosingiphile Gumede (27).
His solid performance at the club also earned him a call-up into South Africa’s National Under-23 squad which travelled to Saudi Arabia for the scheduled two friendly matches against the hosts in November last year.
Asked what has helped him to stand head and shoulders above his teammates at the club, Mlungwana said: “I have always set the bar high for myself. I always aim high, work my socks off to get there and I always believe that my goals and dreams are attainable. Forming part of the Under-23 squad which travelled to Saudi Arabia for the friendly matches was also a dream come true for me. I always wanted to be part of that squad and I just kept on working up until it happened.
“It would be great to make the final Olympic team that is to represent South Africa at the Olympics this year. My other dream is to earn a move abroad. I’d love to play overseas one of the good days.”
By Mohau Ramashidja