16 November 2022 – It is easy to spot midfielder Mmonapule ‘Pule’ Saleng from a distance.
Slender in build, light on his feet, nimble-footed and fast-paced, Saleng is extremely focused and appears to be sure of what he wants. When you do get to know him a little bit better, you realise that the man behind the shy demeanour is never without a smile.
He is certainly not in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, here to just smile and is working very hard towards a realising a carefully planned career path whose building blocks are slowly coming together.
He has come a long way and was the number one goal scorer with Free State Stars while playing in the National First Division during the 2020/2021 season. He then went on loan to Swallows before rejoining Orlando Pirates this season. He believes the moves between clubs are the gold that shaped him into the player he is today.
“I think timing is everything. I don’t think I could’ve given what I’m giving now without adjusting to top-flight football first. So moving to Swallows to acclimatize and then coming to Orlando Pirates to perform was a good move. I needed that,” says a smiling Saleng.
He has been described as a ‘Superstar’ in recent newspaper headlines and when asked if he felt like one, the shy midfielder could not stop smiling and emphatically replied: “NO!”
“I don’t feel like I’ve done enough to be called a superstar. I am still learning, growing and getting used to life in the PSL. I’m nowhere near superstar status, not yet.”
He says his work on the field does not go unnoticed and he is correct. Fans are calling his name due to his recent performances and his contribution even attracted Bafana Bafana Head Coach Hugo Broos, who called him up to this week’s friendlies against Mozambique and Angola.
“I’m proud to represent my country. As much as I have plans for growth and playing overseas, I want to be here. I want to be a regular in the Bafana Bafana line-up, it is one of my dreams. There is so much pressure and hard work ahead of me to make all want to do with football become a reality,” said the Orlando Pirates player.
The clash against the Mozambicans on Thursday, 17 November 2022 will start at 20h00 while the clash on Sunday 20 November 2022 is set for a 15h00 kick off.
Tickets will be available at the match venue, Mbombela Stadium, and they are R50 for adults and R20 for children aged 15 years and younger.