12 April 2018 – Born 10 May 1993 in the Eastern Cape, Ace FC goal scorer extraordinaire Jerry “Bhubesi” Mxabo has come a long way in a short amount of time.
The lanky 1.68, strong-built hitman started playing soccer at the tender age of 6 in New Crossroads after moving to Cape Town.
His love for football grew from there and Mxabo has now scored 18 goals in SAFA’s ABC Motsepe League (Western Cape stream) and every time he goes on to the field he puts on an irresistible display of pace, power and finishing to become the leading goal scorer in the stream.
SAFA.net had a chance to catch up with Mxabo to find out exactly how he has gotten to where he is from his young days to acquiring 17 caps for the U20 national team.
- SAFA.net: Tell us how your love for football began
JM: My dad was also a footballer and played as a goalkeeper so he influenced me quite a bit and encouraged my love for soccer. He used to also take me for matches, especially when Kaizer Chiefs was in town. Also, after school we used to go down to the fields nearby and enjoy playing.
- SAFA.net: What are some of the struggles and challenges you have faced growing up?
JM: Growing up in the township as a black player was tough. I used to struggle to buy tracksuits and kits. My mom wasn’t too thrilled with me playing football either and didn’t want me to follow in my father’s footsteps. She tried to persuade me to take up another career. The focus was more on purchasing school uniforms rather than boots and equipment.
- SAFA.net: Tell us about your footballing path? Which teams have you played for leading up to Ace FC
JM: While at school I joined Lucky Swallows (amateur level-LFA) while thereafter going on to represent the Western Cape in inter-provincial tournaments for Joburg Strikers FC. I also represented Sinethemba High School in Philippi. In 2008, I got a chance to play for Supersport United Academy and at 17. I signed my first professional contract for their first team and then went to on to play for Mpumalanga Black Aces on loan. I also played for Ikapa Sporting, Steenberg United FC, Cape Town All Stars (NFD), Glendene and am now happy to be at ACE FC. I am also proud to have represented my country at U20 level.
- SAFA.net: What are your career ambitions and goals?
JM: In the short-term I hope to score +/- 22 goals. I am already on 18 so I am close. I would like to possibly play for an NFD team and then try and get into a PSL club – perhaps the likes of Maritzburg, Celtic or Arrows.
My long term goals are most definitely to play for the likes of Sundowns, maybe in Europe and most definitely for the national team Bafana Bafana.
- SAFA.net: Tell us about the current season where you have been the top scorer?
JM: I feel this has been my best season personally. The coach has built the team around me which makes me feel good. I am enjoying my football and we have a nice family environment and atmosphere at the club. I am happy with my form and the confidence shown in me.
- SAFA.net: What advice do you have for youngsters getting into football?
JM: Firstly you must love the game, then only do you enjoy your football. Also, never give up and don’t stop believing in yourself. I made it from nothing. A previous coach of mine even laughed when I told him about my aspirations of playing at the highest levels. I was happy to prove him wrong and he was even with me when I got the call for the U20 national team.
- SAFA.net: Who are your footballing role models or inspirations and why?
JM: Without doubt the likes of Raul Gonzalez, Filippo Inzaghi and Ruud van Nistelrooy as they are finishers like myself. Locally I have always admired Glen Salmon, Benni McCarthy and Mabhuti Khenyeza.
- SAFA.net: What are ACE FC’s chances of winning the league and gaining a promotional play-off spot this season?
JM: It’s going to be tough but we still have hope. It is not done and dusted yet. Perhaps a 50/50 chance for the title. However, we have already over-achieved and will be happy to get past 60 points.