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Young hopeful wouldn't let injury stop trip to Brazil

By unknown | Feb 16, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Not even injuries to his ankle and knee could stop teenage soccer player Moalusi Mathe. The youngster has been selected to travel to Brazil in July to learn the finer points of the beautiful game.

Mathe, at only 16, is dreaming of becoming a sensational ball wizard.

He said he will train hard to master the numerous tricks he will be taught at the famous and highly respected Sao Paulo Football Club's Soccer Academy.

Scheduled to jet off shortly with 11 other aspirant stars, Mathe is a recruit of Shona Khona, the ambitious Sowetan, Metcash and Reckitt Benckiser education- through-sport campaign.

The programme is gradually building a pool of footballers with the potential to turn South Africa into a powerhouse in southern Africa, Africa and the entire globe.

Last year Mathe, who lives in Thabanchu, in Bloemfontein in the Free State, entered Shona Khona by sending an SMS with the lucky number he found on a Reckitt Benckiser product bought at a Metcash store to Shona Khona's organisers.

Mathe was put on a list of 90 hopefuls, who attended a life-changing life-skills and soccer coaching camp at the Safa-Transnet Soccer School of Excellence, at Elandsfontein in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.

He and five other talented boys were chosen to go to Brazil. They will be joined by six other youngsters in May.

The five other boys are 13-year-old Dominic Mfusi from Krugersdorp, Gauteng; 13-year-old Bongani Mocksin from Uitenhage, Eastern Cape; 15-year-old Jerry Nkwana from Mamelodi, Gauteng; 13-year-old Mzwandile Magqwaka from Gugulethu, Western Cape; and 14-year-old Lwando Bhebhetha from Uitenhage, Eastern Cape.

Former professional soccer players Bernard Lushozi, James Mabena and Marks Maponyane, and head coaches at the Soccer School of Excellence Mandla Mazibuko and Dan Malisela, rate Mathe and his five peers very highly.

They said the boys possess immense natural talent and other fine qualities.

Speaking about the injuries he sustained during the three-day camp in December, Mathe said: "I was in great pain but I refused to give up. It all paid off in the end."

Mazibuko said: "Moalusi proved that if you want something badly enough you will do whatever it takes to get it, and overcome all the hurdles life throws at you."

Mathe is currently playing for Township United Brothers, in Thabanchu.

He said he is inspired by talented Kaizer Chiefs player Gert Schalkwyk.

"My favourite team is Bloemfontein Celtic because it is my home team. I am very patriotic."

For more information about Shona Khona, telephone 0861-100-980.


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