Kobemelo Kodisang is a gem that was discovered by Coach Molefi Ntseki a few weeks before Amajimbos participated in the 2015 u17 CAN.
Kobemelo Kodisang is a gem that was discovered by Coach Molefi Ntseki a few weeks before Amajimbos participated in the 2015 u17 CAN, however logistical circumstances meant that Kobemelo could not travel with the National u17 squad to Niger earlier this year, with the u17 FIFA World Cup 27 days away, SAFA media took some time to speak to Kobemelo about his missed opportunity, World Cup prospects and his bright future; this is what he had to say.
NM: Kobemelo, give me brief background of your football career, and growing up in the North West?
KK: I started playing football in Taung when I was around 7 years old as a young child playing in the streets. My family then moved to Rustenburg in 2008 and I continued playing like a normal child who was growing up. In 2009 I joined an amateur club called Highlanders F.C, while I was schooling at Nkukise Primary School and we participated in your school tournaments, the likes Danoe u12, and Milo u13 Tournaments.
One day scouts from the Platinum Academy came to our matches without the team’s knowledge, they choice a few of us from the tournament to attend trails at their academy. This was in 2011 and I was signed by Platinum Stars Academy, I had to adapt to a new lifestyle because I had to move away from home to stay in the academy but I never looked back.
NM: You came into the fold of Amajimbos a weeks before the historical 2015 CAN, how did that come about?
KK: I participated in the 2014 SAFA U17 National Championships and was picked in the 40 man squad from that tournament; however I didn’t receive a call up for any of the CAN qualifiers. I was participating in the MDC early this year and I suppose that is where Coach Ntseki saw the sensation I am *laughs*.
On that very same day after our MDC match against SuperSport United, I remember the date was 31 January 2015, my club Coach Willem Jackson told me I received a call up to the Amajimbos and I was to report for camp the following day. “Wow I didn’t sleep that night anticipating begin in national team colours.” The following day I reported for camp and I remember I was so shy and didn’t talk to anyone in the camp for a few days.
NM: I remember before the squad left for Niger, the Technical Team had a talk with you, and you did not travel with us, what did they say to you then, and how did it make you feel?
KK: That was the saddest day of my life, I had never been in such a situation before. The technical team sat me down an told me that I could not travel with the team because I didn’t have a visa and there was no time for me to get one, they told me that I am a great player and I was a part of the team’s plans but I just could except that, I want to cry but had to hold in. The players also said to me that they would go and qualify for me so that I can join them in the World Cup.
NM: You play for the senior team of Platinum Stars, making you the youngest registered player in the PSL, how did this come about and what are your wishes for the current season?
KK: Coach Allan Frazer picked me from the MDC squad to join the senior team in January, but I came to the national team and the window period had just closed. The coaches wanted to play me in our last two matches of the last season but because I wasn’t registered I couldn’t play. I signed my contract during the break and I trained with the senior team in pre season of 2015/2016.
I made the 18 man squad in our second league match against Celtics but still didn’t play. In our third league match against Arrows I came on in the last 10 minutes of the match, after that game Coach Calvin was very impressed with my performance and gave me hope of starting in our next match against Cosmos. Unfortunately I wasn’t picked in the 18 man squad for that match and was told that I have to assist the MDC team, this week I am back in national camp.
My wishes are to play regularly at Platinum Stars when we return from the World Cup *hoping I made the 21 man squad*, maybe to also score a few goals and help my team win a trophy.
NM: Today marks 27 days before the u17 FIFA World Cup starts, you have the potential to make the 21 man squad, if you are selected what is your mission in Chile?
KK: I am going to give it my all there. I want to show the world what South African player can do, and if possible I would like to impress a few scouts and maybe make my way to Europe in the near future. I would also like to help my team play its best football ever and see how far we can make it in the tournament, we have already made history by being the first bunch of u17’s to qualify of the World showpiece, now we want to write our names in the history books.
NM: Name 3 footballers who have inspired your style of play or those that you look up too and why?
KK: Lionel Messi is my all-time favourite, a legend in this era, he shows that us small (tiny) players can do enormous things. Isco from Real Madrid and IIkay Gundogan from Dortmund, they just impress me on the ball.
NM: Kobemelo, on behalf of the South Africa Football Association and all football lovers I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your teammates all the best at the world show piece.
KK: Thank you my sister and we ask that the nation be behind this as we go and write our names in the history books of world football.