As we count down day 8 to the kick off of the 2015 FIFA World Cup U-17, the Burger King sponsored Amajimbos will hold two training session today ahead of their last practice match against New Zealand on 12 October 2015 in Santiago, Chile.

As we count down day 8 to the kick off of the 2015 FIFA World Cup U-17, the Burger King sponsored Amajimbos will hold two training session today ahead of their last practice match against New Zealand on 12 October 2015 in Santiago, Chile.

SAFA Media took some time out to speak to Wiseman Meyiwa; an assertive defensive midfielder; whose function in the team is discreet yet extremely crucial. 

NM: Wiseman, talk to me about where you come from, how you started playing football and how you ended up at the Kaizer Chiefs Academy?

WM: I was born and breed in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal. I am the last born of three kids and I grew up playing football at school. I participated in a lot of school tournaments and Kaizer Chiefs spotted me at the 2013 Discovery Tournament at the Nike Centre in Pimville, which takes place during the festive season. I was playing there with my former club Tastic F.C. and that’s how I ended up at Chiefs; they offered me a development contract and I moved to Johannesburg in January 2014.

NM: You play a very crucial role in the team as a destroyer, what areas of your game have grown since you joined the national team?

WM: My reading of the game has improved a lot; I can anticipate movement long before it happens. My positioning and mobility have also become better since I joined the national team.  

NM: Amajimbos have achieved great things since Coach Ntseki took over, which match stands out the most for you during your “road to Chile” qualifiers and why?

WM: The match that stands out for me would have to be the 2-2 draw against Egypt, which led us to qualifying for the 2015 CAN tournament. That was a tough match and although we went into that game with the advantage, the Egyptians gave us a run for our money; it was them or us and we couldn’t let our futures slip through our hands. Therefore, we gave it our all in that match in Cairo, and by the grace of God here we are at our first ever World Cup.

NM: Let’s go back to Niger, earlier this year, what motivated this team to be do so well and end up qualifying for their first ever FIFA World Cup?

WM: The team spirit was kept us going through our first 2 draws, and we never gave up on our objective to qualify for Chile. We also come from a culture of singing; we sing through tough situations and we sing when times are good, so that too lifted us throughout the tournament. I believe we were that one team that sang all the time and this helped us a lot.

NM: Today marks 8 days before the FIFA World Cup U-17 starts, what are you looking forward to during the World Cup and what are some of your wishes post the world showpiece?

WM: I am looking forward to some very exciting matches; playing against Costa Rica, Russia and Korea DPR will take us to the next level of our game. I also hope that we can display beautiful football and make it past the group stages. Individually, I hope to impress the masses and be able to go down in history as a player to be reckoned with. I wish to do well in the MDC when I go back home and possibly move from South Africa to another league somewhere in the world.

NM: Name 2 footballers who have inspired your style of play or those that you look up to and why?

WM: Sergio Busquets makes football look so easy; he is just so comfortable on and off the ball. Aturo Vidal is a tough tackler like me *giggles*. These two players inspire me to become a world class player.    

NM: Your teammates call you Katsande, why is this?  

WM:  *laughs*, Katsande is my senior at club level, but I will admit I do play like him; I am as hard as he is in tackling and I mark my territory like him. That is why my teammates call me Katsande

NM: Lastly, do you have a message for the supporters back home?

WM: I would like to thank everyone who is behind us and I plead with all South Africans to rally behind us. We promise that we will give it our all out here in Chile and do the proud.

I also want to take this opportunity to just give a nice warm and loving shout out to my parents, family, friends and school mates.

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