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Sunday World - - WORLD OF SPORT - TSHEPANG MAILWANE MARC STRY­DOM

SUR­ROUNDED by jour­nal­ists at the Cairo In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Tues­day night, Mamelodi Sun­downs mid­fielder Percy Tau han­dled all the ques­tions like a pro. He s only 22 but he

’ sounded much older as he spoke about win­ning the CAF Cham­pi­ons League, how he wants to in­spire young­sters at Sun­downs and the pres­sure of jug­gling foot­ball and his stud­ies. I study but I don t like to talk “’ about it. I am in my sec­ond year and next year is my last. Things are get­ting hec­tic with games and ev­ery­thing. I am on my own,” said Tau, who started both legs of Sun­downs Cham­pi­ons League

’ fi­nal vic­tory over Za­malek. As foot­ballers we have enough “time to go to school be­cause we train from about eight or nine and fin­ish at 12. So I use the time af­ter ex­tra train­ing to study.

It s re­ally dif­fi­cult. I have one “’ mod­ule that I strug­gle with and have to find a friend to help.”

Tau, who did not want to re­veal what he is study­ing, trav­elled with his books to Egypt. Be­cause he is pay­ing for his ed­u­ca­tion, he knows how im­por­tant it is not to fail. I pay for my fees, so it s a pri­or­ity “’ for me. I can t fail. It s im­por­tant to

’ ’ have the sup­port of fam­ily. They are al­ways there for me. My mom is for­ever wor­ried about school, more than foot­ball, so I can­not let her down.”

Sun­downs play­ers were sub­jected to death threats on so­cial me­dia be­fore the sec­ond leg clash against Za­malek, so Tau s mother

’ had tried to tell him not to leave the coun­try be­cause she was wor­ried about his safety.

My mom was very “emo­tional. She did not want me to go to Egypt. She was cry­ing so hard “when I called and told her I am leav­ing [for Egypt], but she will be smil­ing now that I have a medal,” he added.

Sun­downs won over the hearts of some Egyp­tians who kept say­ing Sun­downs,

“Sun­downs when­ever

” they bumped into South Africans. I am proud of the “work of the team. My team­mates did so well through­out the tour­na­ment. I know one day I will look back and smile,” said Tau. I am 22. It s scary [to be an African “’ cham­pion at a young age] be­cause a lot of big stars have won the Cham­pi­ons League. I saw other big play­ers get­ting the same medal. I like that be­cause now I am a cham­pion. It s good to know South Africans “’ were be­hind us. It felt so spe­cial to be part of his­tory. South Africa re­spects what we have ac­com­plished. Things have gone the way I planned “and I think God is be­hind ev­ery­thing.” Big things are still to come from Tau: I am look­ing to judge my con­tri­bu­tion “to Sun­downs at the end of the sea­son. So far so good.” He s likely to start again when

’ Sun­downs host Cape Town City in an Absa Premier­ship match at Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium at 3.30pm today.

TODAY S OTHER PSL MATCHES:

High­lands Park vs Free State Stars; Baroka FC vs Polok­wane City. of Uganda Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tions Moses Ma­gogo ‚ ‚ said the keeper would re­ceive a prime piece of land in the coun­try as a re­ward for his feat. He de­serves “to be recog­nised be­cause he bravely MAMELODI Sun­downs goal­keeper De­nis Onyango is to be pre­sented with a land by his foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion for be­com­ing the first Ugan­dan to win the Caf Cham­pi­ons League. Onyango was in­stru­men­tal in Downs ’ vic­tory in this year s ’ com­pe­ti­tion even ‚ though he had to be re­placed in­jured in the 28th minute of the sec­ond leg of the fi­nal which ‚ Downs lost 1-0 against Za­malek in Alexan­dria ‚ Egypt to run out 3-1 ‚ win­ners on ag­gre­gate. The pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion rep­re­sented the coun­try at the con­ti­nen­tal stage Ma­gogo ‚” said on Al­lAfrica.com. He still has a chance to “shine in De­cem­ber s Fifa Club ’ World Cup where he may come up against the likes of Real Madrid. Start­ing today Fufa is go­ing “‚ to re­ward ev­ery in­di­vid­ual who achieves big suc­cess. We will present him with “the land ti­tle at Nam­boole be­fore the Congo game so that even the young play­ers are mo­ti­vated to work harder.” Uganda meet Congo in a World Cup qual­i­fier in Kam­pala on Novem­ber 12. Onyango won last year s ’ Ugan­dan Foot­baller of the Year Award and has helped steer ‚ the coun­try to the 2017 Africa Cup of Na­tions. The pub­lic is ex­cited. He is “the first Ugan­dan to win the CAF Cham­pi­ons League. It s a ’ huge hon­our said Ugan­dan ‚” ra­dio jour­nal­ist Tabu Peter. TMG Sport

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