Vicks was des­tined for great­ness

Promis­ing soc­cer ca­reer ends pre­ma­turely

Sowetan - - Obituaries - By Sihle Nde­bele

Born: March 3 1997 Died: Oc­to­ber 8 Fu­neral: To­mor­row at the Mpophomeni Com­mu­nity Hall, How­ick, KwaZulu-Natal Burial: Mpophomeni Ceme­tery near Pi­eter­mar­itzburg

Those who fol­lowed the Mul­tiChoice Diski Chal­lenge (MDC) last sea­son will agree that the late Mar­itzburg United young­ster Mlondi “Vicks” Dlamini was des­tined for great­ness.

Dlamini died in a car ac­ci­dent near Cato Ridge on the N3 in KwaZulu-Natal on Sun­day while re­turn­ing from Dur­ban, pre­ma­turely end­ing his promis­ing foot­ball ca­reer.

The death of Mar­itzburg’s bud­ding star has left Mamelodi Sun­downs de­fender Mot­jeka Madisha in shock.

Madisha played against the promis­ing Dlamini in the MDC last sea­son.

“It makes me re­alise that life is very short. I didn’t know him too well but wish I had the op­por­tu­nity to get to know him bet­ter be­cause he was a spe­cial tal­ent.

“I would like to send my con­do­lences to the Dlamini fam­ily for their loss and wish them strength in this dif­fi­cult time,” said Madisha.

The skil­ful 20-year-old mid­fielder was not only ad­mired by his peers but by op­po­si­tion coaches as well.

La­montville Golden Ar­rows’ MDC men­tor, Nh­lanhla Vi­lakazi, con­fessed that he had tried to sign the tal­ented young­ster whom he com­pared to Sun­downs su­per­star Khama Bil­liat.

“I wanted to sign him but Mar­itzburg would not al­low him to join Ar­rows.

“He was very spe­cial. He re­minded me a lot of Bil­liat be­cause of his skill. Such tal­ent is very rare,” said Vi­lakazi.

Fol­low­ing his stel­lar per­for­mances for the young Team of Choice last sea­son, Dlamini was nom­i­nated, along­side the Sun­downs duo of Keletso Mak­galwa and Madisha, for the re­serve league’s Player of the Sea­son award.

Dlamini was beaten to the top prize by Mak­galwa.

Dlamini, who was pro­moted to Mar­itzburg’s se­nior team to­wards the end of last sea­son, was a prod­uct of the Um­gun­gundlovu Sports Academy, which has also pro­duced bud­ding Kaizer Chiefs mid­fielder Wise­man Meyiwa.

Dlamini, who was born in Mpophomeni near How­ick in KwaZu­l­ulu-Natal, made six ap­pear­ances for the se­nior team last sea­son.

Dlamini made his de­but in April against Chippa United.

A calf in­jury dur­ing pre-sea­son train­ing meant he had not seen any ac­tion this sea­son as he was still re­cov­er­ing.

Dlamini was cho­sen as Player of the Sea­son in the Kay Mot­sepe League in 2015 while rep­re­sent­ing Sukuma High School in Em­bali, Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

Mar­itzburg’s gen­eral man­ager Quintin Jet­too said the Dlamini fam­ily have asked the me­dia to give them time to mourn in pri­vate.

Jet­too added that Dlamini would be missed by ev­ery­body at the Team of Choice.

“The play­ers, tech­ni­cal staff and man­age­ment are sad­dened by the un­timely death of Mlondi. He was loved by ev­ery­body at the club. He was part of Mar­itzburg United fam­ily. May his soul rest in peace,” Jet­too said.

/ SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU/ BACKPAGEPIX

Promis­ing Mar­itzburg mid­fielder Mlondi ‘Vicks’ Dlamini died in a car ac­ci­dent on Sun­day.

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