12 April 2019 – Like every footballer, Supersport United midfielder Luke Le Roux would like to represent his country at the highest level – the World Cup.
Le Roux missed out on the world soccer showpiece appearance on two occasions.
His call-up to the Men’s U-17 National Team (Amajimbos), where he earned 17 caps, came shortly after the squad returned from the Chile 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The same thing happened when Amajita jetted off to South Korea for the 2017 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup – he was not picked to take part in that crucial assignment.
It is those two missed chances that made the midfielder have the burning desire to fight hard to be among one of the players that Amajita head coach Thabo Senong will call upon in his final 21-man squad for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland.
The tournament is scheduled to run from 23 May – 15 June.
Now his dream is getting closer to realization following his call-up to the South African U20 Men’s National Team that will play four international friendly matches in preparation for the 2019 FIFA U-20 Men’s World Cup.
Le Roux scored the only goal which qualified Amajita for their second consecutive FIFA U-20 World Cup appearance – this after converting a spot kick in the 1-0 win against Burundi in the final Group A match of the 2019 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Niger earlier this year.
“Of course every player would love to play in the world cup, and I guess I am no different,” said Le Roux.
“Getting into any national team is very difficult, but staying in even more difficult because you have work extra hard to justify your stay, especially as there are so many talented players waiting to take that spot that you have occupied. Our coaches always say that we pick ourselves into the team, any team even at club level, by working hard. So I just hope this time around my name is on that final list. Places in the national team are not guaranteed, when you get an opportunity you must make good use of it.”
Amajita will assemble for camp on Wednesday, 17 April in Johannesburg, before flying out two days later to Saudi Arabia for two international friendly matches – on 22 and 25 April.
They are also scheduled to take on Uruguay and Ukraine on 15 and 18 May respectively.
All four nations are using the fixtures as preparations for the World Cup. Amajita have been drawn in Group F alongside Argentina, Korea Republic and Portugal.
“From what we have seen in the past matches, we have a good technical team, and a great group of players – so I am confident that whoever is selected to the final squad will not disappoint but will instead make the country proud,” added Le Roux.
“At the moment I am back at my club and whenever I need advice I speak to my father (Stellenbosch FC General Manager, Gareth Le Roux) who is both my critic and number one supporter all at the same time. He gives me the needed constructive criticism on what areas I need to improve on and also praises the good that I do. That keeps me going at all times, and I am grateful for that.”