22 July 2017 – The South African U17 Men’s National Team (Amajimbos); beat Mozambique 3-1, in their opening match of the 2017 COSAFA U-17 Championships in Mauritius on Friday, 21 July.

Newly appointed Amajimbos captain Kieron Jacks played a huge role in keeping the defensive shape of the team and is delighted at having earned his first international cap with a positive and convincing result.

SAFA.net took some time out to speak to the young defender and get to find out why football means to him and what he wishes to achieve in life.

NM: Kieron, thank you for your time, firstly congratulations on the victory. Just give us a brief background of who you are, where you are from and how you started playing football?

KJ: Thank you very much, the win last night was a great confidence booster for us, because we were all so anxious out our first ever representation of South Africa. I am just a simple guy. I was born in Wentworth; Durban and have 2 younger sisters. I started playing football at the age of six years old; the influence came from my father who played at the time. I then moved to SuperSport United at the age of 13 years old and now; I am the captain of Amajimbos.

NM: You have now earned your first international cap have been appointed as the captain of the South African U17 Men’s National team , congratulations on that great milestones. What do you understand about these milestones?

KJ: These are great milestones and not easy to attain. I am honoured to have been named captain and believe that the coaches saw those abilities in me during our selection camps, and prior to the tournament. A captain is someone who shows leadership qualities on and off the pitch, who able to assist their teammates and can boost the team’s morale. I believe I have those attributes.

NM: Who is Kieron the footballer? Tell us about your strengths, what makes you tick and what do you think are your strengths. 

KJ: Kieron is a diehard football fan, who believes he has the talent and dedication to prosper in the industry. My family brings out the best in me; I draw strength from them. I believe that my strengths as are player are that I have a never die attitude, I am a good reader of the game, I have aerial strength and am a good header of the ball. I also believe that I have great anticipation and some pace; even though I am a defender.

NM: Who are some of the footballers you look up too and why?

KJ: I still look up to Steven Gerrad. I grew up watching him and I believe he is the best leader, and one of the best footballers I have ever watched. He has the ability to control the game and helps out in all departments. 

NM: What do you wish to achieve in this 2017 COSAFA U-17 Championships?

KJ: I know that Amajimbos lost out in the final last year. Therefore we have to make it to the final and do our best to win the tournament. We as a team want to make South African’s proud but this tournament is just the beginning of a great future at national team players for many of us

NM: Thank you for your time and good luck in your future endeavours.