Future looking bright
Mahlambi’s ambition is to make a name for himself in the ‘big’ leagues
BIDVEST Wits speedy winger Phakamani Mahlambi is too ambitious for his age, but who can blame the young lad from Kwa-Zulu-Natal?
Right after winning the red-hot PSL Young Player of the Season Mahlambi set his sight on emulating his former teammate Keagan Dolly.
Mahlambi (19) who has taken South African football by storm, played alongside Dolly at the School of Excellence, National Under-23 team and at Bafana Bafana level.
This young man from Ngoje in Vryheid is in Portugal where he is being assessed by Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Guimaraes are campaigning in the top flight in Portugal. Last season they reached the final of the Taca de Portugal (The equivalent of the FA Cup in England, or our local Nedbank Cup) where they were beaten 2-1 by Benfica.
Bafana star midfielder Bongani Zungu is also at the club.
Dolly is doing well in France, playing for Montpellier FC, having joined them in January after helping Sundowns to their Caf Champions League triumph.
Like Mahlambi, Dolly won the PSL Young Player of the Season, just two seasons ago.
“We’ve walked on the same path with Keagan. We played together at the School of Excellence and we went on to be teammates at national level with the Under-23s. Recently we were together at Bafana Bafana. For me, winning the Young Player of the Season award motivated me to do even better than Keagan has achieved,” Mahlambi elaborated.
Mahlambi played a pivotal role in Wits league glory last season, during the second half of the campaign.
“Obviously every player wants to play overseas and I also have that ambition. I want to experience top football in the greatest leagues in the world. My dream is to compete with the greatest players in Europe. The desire to make my mark overseas is huge,” Mahlambi explained before jetting out to Portugal.
“It is a great honour for me to be chosen as the best in South Africa. This is my first PSL award and I have no doubt it will boost my confidence going forward. It is a fantastic privilege for me,” Mahlambi explained.
The young lad from KZN played a limited number of games last season, having sustained an horrific injury towards the end of 2015/16 season which kept him out of the game for the while.
“It shows that people really appreciate my talent and the work that I do whenever I’m in the field of play. It means a lot to me to be chosen as the young star despite the fact I played few games because of an injury,” Mahlambi lamented.
Mahlambi has played two seasons in top flight football but he is already a star and the future looks bright for him.
“If I’m still here next season I hope that I will be able to win some of the cups that I haven’t won in this country,” Mahlambi said.
He has already won two trophies in two seasons as a profesional footballer, boasting the league-winners’ medal and the MTN 8 crown.
“As player I know what I need to do in order to succeed and I also know what I need to avoid in order to keep growing as a footballer. Football is a short career, therefore I have to behave and stay focussed to prolong my playing days. It is up to me to look to my future. I have good surroundings. Success will not go in to my head, I know I have to stay grounded to stay consistent,” Mahlambi concluded. STAYING PUT: Thabiso Kutumela won’t be leaving Orlando Pirates despite efforts by Baroka FC to get him back.