South African trio signs for Georgia clubs

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Three South African players Azola Mengam, Sihle Mtolo and Siboniso Mtolo have signed for Georgia clubs after successful trials in the country located at the intersection of Europe and Asia.

The Mtolo brothers join second tier side FC Merani Tbilisi while 16-year-old goalkeeper Mengam joins FC Didube, who play in the third tier, as an academy player.

Mengam hails from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape and his agent Sipho Joyisi believes the Didube stint will fast-track his development.

“We decided to bring him to Europe to fast track his progress and to get him some experience,” Joyisi told FARPost.

The oldest of the Mtolo boys, Siboniso, is a right back aged 21 while his brother Sihle is 18. Both players, who previously had stints with Golden Arrows, had a brief stint with Dubai City FC.

“The two boys were hard done by Covid-19 and missed out on making it to this season’s squad while they were back home due to the disruptions of the pandemic,” he said.

Siboniso Mtolo told FARPost he was hoping the yearlong stint in Georgia will expose them to the rigours of the overseas game.

“I feel like it’s a privilege because not many people get this opportunity, you know the struggles of going out of the country. We’re also lucky to be able to travel with our parents who’ve been supportive.

“This is short term, long term is to be in Europe and playing at a higher level. I would also love to represent my country on the junior and senior team,” he said.

His younger brother, who missed out on the opportunity to sign with French side Monaco, hopes to catch the eye of national team selectors.

“There was interest from Monaco, but unfortunately I didn’t have the required [national team] caps,” said the attacking midfielder, Sihle Mtolo.

“I want to get that national team call up that’s the only thing holding me up from getting into the top five leagues.”

Mengam described his move as the biggest thing that has ever happened in his life. “It’s exciting and I’m nervous. It’s a huge thing that I can’t just get past.

“For me, I’m still young and a starting point of playing in Europe. My goal is to be big here.”

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By FARPost Reporter