Mahlangu lauds teammates’ guidance on his debut

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TS Galaxy defender Macbeth Mahlangu has commended his teammates following his debut against Stellenbosch FC in the DStv Premiership this past weekend.

The KwaNdebele-born imposed a fine form for his side despite their 1-0 defeat. The 19-year-old proved that he’s one of the smart defenders who aim to keep the game clean as possible, minimising energy expenditure while maximising results.

Mahlangu revealed that he was scared a bit but his mentor Dan Malesela and teammates put him on ease ahead of the game.

“The coach spoke to me before the game and informed me that there is no pressure. He told me to stay calm and play my normal football. His guidance played a pivotal role in myself staying calm during the game. He stated that when he played professional football, he also started at an early age (18). That inspired me,” says Mahlangu.

“The experienced players like Yeye (Reneilwe Letsholonyane) also helped me to eradicate my fears. Our captain, Given Msimango also assisted me to feel comfortable at the back together with Tumelo Bodibe. After having a few touches, I then started to gain confidence. I could feel that I was playing professional football now and I needed to continue working hard so that I can get these opportunities frequently.”

The youngster added that it has always been his childhood dream to play professional football.

“I’m happy that I’ve now fulfilled my dream to play football in the top-flight at the age of 19. I’ve always been focused and there is no looking back from now. I couldn’t believe it but it has now sunk in that I’m playing in the DSTV Premiership now,” he adds.

The Rockets starlet also reflected on his disappointment of not making the final squad of South Africa’s Under-20 that participated in the 2020 Cosafa Under-20 Men’s Championship.

“I want to play more games so that I can be able to gain experience. Not so long ago, I received a call up to be part of the Amajita squad but I was sent back. I want to get back into that Under-20 squad so that I can showcase myself. My dream is to play overseas. I can only achieve that by playing regularly and representing my country. I want to maintain the same consistency throughout the season. It doesn’t matter whether we are playing against the big team or not.”

“I was hurt but I never took it personal. These things do happen in football. That’s how the character is built. I can’t just dwell on that. As I’ve eluded, I got goals to achieve. I have no doubt that if I continue to work hard and make use of my opportunities, I will get another chance to represent my country,” Mahlangu concluded.

By Mauwane Raophala

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