22 January 2019 – South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) midfielder Luke Le Roux says working with coach Thabo Senong has taught him a lot about what it really takes for one to make it as a professional footballer.
Le Roux, who has been in the Amajita setup since their CAF 2019 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying rounds last year, said the coach opened his eyes to the other side of football he never paid too much attention to at first.
The 19 year-old SuperSport United midfielder is part of the Amajita’s provisional squad that is preparing for the upcoming 2019 AFCON Under-20 tournament set to take place in Niger from 2 – 17 February.
Amajita are in Group A alongside hosts Niger, Burundi and Nigeria.
A top four finish will see Amajita book their place in this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament that will take place in Poland later in the year.
“The coach always preaches to us about the significance of being humble while working really hard to make it as professional footballers as well,” Le Roux said. “He always stresses that there are a whole lot of talented players out there, however, it is the ones who are willing to put in the work, who are always going to make it.
“That statement is really important to me because without applying these principles, it is easy for one to lose their place in a team.”
Asked how their AFCON local preparation camp has gone so far, Le Roux said: “Our AFCON Under-20 preparation camp has been amazing so far. Everybody is looking sharp and driven to do well in every session or practice match we participate in. Winning last year’s COSAFA Under-20 tournament was a step in the right direction in our preparations as well.
“We won all of our matches leading up this being crowned champions for the second time in a row, and it was a nice feeling to have. I even scooped a man of the match in one of the matches (against eSwatini).
“Winning with the national team is just an incredible feeling to have as a footballer, and I just want to be a part of it for as long as I can.”