Bafana Bafana and U23 striker Siphelele Ntshangase says the current squad vying to qualify for the Olympics in Rio 2016 has massive potential and is set to go places.
The Owen da Gama-coached side welcome Zimbabwe at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday evening in a crucial Olympic qualifier second leg, with the first leg having ended in a 1-1 draw in Harare a fortnight ago.
“We are in a very good position to progress to Senegal and once we get to Senegal, anything is possible; it is anyone’s game.
“Let me tell you something, there is this camaraderie within this (U23) camp; that burning desire to leave a lasting impression for the country and going to the Olympics in Rio, Brazil. Players are aware that by doing so, it will catapult most of our careers to the next level,” said Ntshangase adding it was imperative to win against Zimbabwe.
“We want, when football fans of look back, to talk of the Class of 2015 that went to the Olympics. We all have this collective feeling that this is the group that will do it. We are so determined; hungry and all fired up to achieve something for the country.
“It will be good for the country, good for our families, good for our respective careers and above all change the face of South African football,” said the 22-year old who was born in Ophongola in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ntshangase who has taken the Senior Men’s National Team, Bafana Bafana and U23 teams by storm says he still can’t believe how his career has progressed in leaps and bounds of late.
“In 2010, I was with the Brazil Academy in KwaNdengezi when I tried with little success to join AmaZulu, Golden Arrows and Sundowns. All of them turned me away and I was getting frustrated.
“Then came 2013; I travelled to Venda to have trials with Black Leopards and as they say, the rest is history,” said the speedy striker with a smile.
Ntshangase said the recipe for success is discipline, dedication and lots and lots of sacrifices.
“True, there are no shortcuts to success. In this industry one has to give up a lot of things that can retard one’s success and once things begin to come together, you can look back with pride the fruits of your labour.”
The KZN-born striker said his main ambition is to play football overseas and if he is to live his dreams, play for Chelsea in London.
“I love the club, I love the coach and I would like to ply my trade in London,” he concluded.
Ntshangase Fact file
Full names: Siphelele Leonard Ntshangase
DOB: 11 May 1993
Place of birth: Ophongola
Marital status: Single
Current club: Black Leopards
Ambition: To play for Chelsea
Childhood hero: Frank Lampard (Chelsea great)