over the moon

Bryce Moon. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 22/09/2007. © Gallo Images
Bryce Moon. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 22/09/2007. © Gallo Images

Every person in life is keen to achieve something good in whatever he or she is doing.

Every person in life is keen to achieve something good in whatever he or she is doing.

And it is natural for them to be over the moon after they had achieved things that seemed to be unattainable in their careers.

Bryce Moon, the Ajax Cape Town, Bafana Bafana and national Under-23 right-back, should be forgiven to be in seventh heaven considering the good things that are happening to him as a young footballer.

Moon, who is equally effective playing as a winger, is not resting on his laurels, though, but is keen to work even harder to reach for the sky. He is a unique player in the sense that he made his debut as a professional on foreign soil at 18.

The country was Northern Ireland and the club Coleraine FC. His love for the game of billions and the keenness to be counted among respected soccer players globally is inestimable.

Though he does not regard himself as a celebrity, he likes the attention he always gets from his supporters on the streets and at the malls.

Sowetan's Mcelwa Nchabeleng interviewed him after one of their training sessions in Durban as they prepare themselves for the arduous African Cup of Nations (Afcon) that kicks off in Ghana on February 20.

Mcelwa Nchabeleng (MN): You are faced with a huge responsibility of helping Bafana Bafana to fare well in the Afcon in Ghana and you should be nervous?

Bryce Moon (BM): I'm not. Instead I'm looking forward to representing my country at this big stage. I'm a professional player and I always like challenges in my career.

MN: What makes you players to be optimistic that Bafana can win the Afcon?

BM: Our optimism and common goal in the camp is to win. We all have the same attitude and we believe that the obstacles in Ghana will not be insurmountable.

MN: Is it because of huge incentives Safa has promised you to win the tournament that has motivated you?

BM: It is not about money but about our sheer determination to win this tourney for the country.

MN: Are you happy with the teams that have been pitted against Bafana in Group D?

BM: Every team that we will play will be tough, including Angola. It will be foolhardy of us to undermine opponents in a tournament of this magnitude.

MN: What is your comment about the young players in the squad including Bryce Moon?

BM: I think (Carlos Alberto Parreira) has drafted in young players with a big heart in the squad. We are very hungry for success and it is good that the coach has blended youth with experience. The tournament will also afford us an opportunity to impress international scouts.

MN: How was it to play in Northern Ireland at a tender age?

BM: I learnt a great deal out there. It was a good learning curve and I thank Ajax Cape Town for ensuring that I play in Northern Ireland.

MN: When did you join Ajax?

BM: I joined their junior team when I was 14. Their scouts spotted me at an inter-provincial tournament in the Vaal. Ajax are an ambitious team with a sound development programme and I don't regret playing for them.

MN: When did you make your debut for Ajax?

BM: It was in 2005 and it was against Kaizer Chiefs in Johannesburg. We drew 1-1 and I think I put up a great performance and hence the coach gave me enough time to play in the next matches.

MN: Your team is on top of the Absa Premiership and this proves that your coach Craig Rosslee is a good tactician. Are you succeeding because of the coach or is it because you have good players?

BM: You see people said this and that about our coach when he was appointed the head coach. He is a good coach and he knows exactly what he is doing and we all respect him. The management of the club also has faith in him. His techniques are good and I will not be surprised if we win the league.

MN: Who inspired you to play football?

BM: It was my father who also played football at Maritzburg United. He was very excited when I was drafted into the Bafana Bafana for the Afcon. Everyone in the family is fully behind me and I will work hard not to disappoint them and my supporters.

MN: Maybe your wife or girlfriend was also excited by your inclusion in the Bafana squad?

BM: My brother I don't have a girlfriend or wife. I'm still working hard to build my profile as a footballer and I don't want to mix this with anything else.

MN: If you were not a football player what would you be doing?

BM: I would probably be a successful young businessman. But I don't regret taking up football as a career.

MN: Are you studying?

BM: I studied for a year for a sports science degree while I was in Northern Ireland and I really want to pursue the course in South Africa. But I have temporarily suspended the idea of studying as I'm fully concentrating on my football career.

MN: What do you think made the U-23 fail to qualify for the Olympics in Beijing?

BM: I know that there are a lot of people who blamed the technical staff for our poor run. But to be honest with you we were not as aggressive as we were supposed to be.

MN: It is every player's dream to play abroad and I think you are no exception in this regard?

BM: Of course I want to see myself playing overseas and I hope it will be sooner than expected. It is my dream to play for either Barcelona or Manchester United. I like Ronaldinho a lot.

MN: Who is your favourite local player?

BM: Dikgang Mabalane.