12 July 2018– In this choreographed war call football, Burger-King Sponsored South Africa’s national Under-20 (Amajita) defender Sibusiso Mabiliso, plays in left-hand side of the defensive third with the responsibility of protecting his goalmouth and the goalkeeper who stands between it.
Every tackle made is a rendered act of service to the almighty Being who has given him the talent, and secondly, the budge of his national team, a protea flower, which is a national symbol of the country of his birth.
The opposition enjoying freedom while pressing them in their defensive third in search for goals is what irks Mabiliso the most. And that’s why he was able to hit the ground running after AmaZulu FC signed him from Platinum Stars on a three-year deal. The 19-year old played in a total of 19 matches in all competitions for Usuthu, two of which were cup competition matches after having joined them in the middle of the season. It is only in two matches where he had to start from the bench.
The Premier Soccer League recognised the lad’s promising potential and awarded him with the PSL Young Player of the Season nomination alongside SuperSport United’s Teboho Mokoena and the eventual winner, Maritzburg United player Siphesihle Ndlovu.
Coach Thabo Senong saw the undying fire in him and that’s why he called him up to form part of the Under-20 squad which is currently in camp preparing for their upcoming third round first leg 2019 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations qualifier clash against Malawi. The first leg match will take place this Sunday at Moruleng Stadium (Kick-off is 3pm).
Mabiliso expressed that he and his teammates have a solid understanding of what a win in this third and final round would mean for the individual young careers and the nation at large.
“It has always been a dream of mine to represent my nation in the Fifa World Cup,” Mabiliso said. “Qualifying for this tournament gives us that an opportunity to fight for that. And that’s why I’m planning to give it my all in both legs.
“I want to see myself playing abroad,” Mabiliso added. “I don’t have any specific team in mind; however, the overall plan is to see myself playing there. The sooner that dream coming into existence for me, the better.
“We are playing (Malawi) here at home and that means we are the ones with the home advantage in this first leg encounter. We need to go out there and give it our all and make sure that we do not lose in any of those two matches. We really want to qualify for the 2019 Under-20 Afcon tournament.
“The team has been doing well and there’s no need to put ourselves under pressure. We just need to go out there and perform like we’ve been doing so far.”
Meanwhile, Senong expressed his delight over how his charges have gelled together into a solid unit on and off the field for the past few days after reporting for camp, adding that team chemistry will play a vital role in seeing his charges fighting for one another and the nation at large come match day.