After an impressive season in the DStv Diski Challenge (DDC), the Soweto-born prodigy revealed that he felt ready to join ‘grown men’s football’ at Amakhosi.
Kaizer Chiefs teenage sensation Mfundo Vilakazi has confidently declared himself ready to make the step up to first-team football.
The 18-year-old attacker recently trained with the senior group at their Naturena-based training village as he sharpened his armoury to be able to participate in the Carling Cup exhibition match against Stellenbosch.
After an impressive season in the DStv Diski Challenge (DDC), the Soweto-born prodigy revealed that he felt ready to join ‘grown men’s football’ at Amakhosi before going on to dazzle and score a goal to help his side win on Saturday.
“Coach Cavin (Johnson) called me to train with the first team so that I can prepare for the Carling All-Stars game against Stellenbosch. I think I am ready (for the first team), but (things) won’t always go my own way and when the time is right I will go to the first team and play,” he said.
“I don’t have to force things at the moment. Fans must expect it (showboating) because they voted for me wanting to see more of that and I will make sure that I make them happy.”
If Vilakazi has made a good enough impression to get more involved in the senior squad, he will join the likes of Mduduzi Shabalala, Wandisile Duba and Samkelo Zwane who made their breakthroughs in the past 18 months.
Itumeleng Khune, who made his senior debut for the club nearly 20 years ago, has also offered Vilakazi a few nuggets of wisdom.
“He just has to be patient with himself and stop reading whatever people are saying. Just keep on working hard on the field and when the time is right, the opportunity will come his way,” the veteran told the media.
“I think it goes to other youngsters, not only Mfundo. But the players that he is playing with … he was playing with Mduduzi Shabalala and look what happened? He got promoted.”
The former Bafana Bafana shotstopper and four-time Goalkeeper of the Season lauded the improvement of development structures in the country over the past 20 years as he feels more opportunities are handed to the likes of Vilakazi.
“It’s opening doors for everyone that is playing in the DDC and their games are live on TV. They are being watched week in and week out,” he explained.
“They are playing under a huge crowd when they play the DDC. So it gives them a great opportunity to get recognised by the first-team coaches. So they just have to take their careers seriously, follow their hearts and be patient because when the other doors close, the other one opens.
“I also had a dream when I was a youngster, when I was still 17, before I got promoted. The same opportunities that the current
DDC players are getting were not there during our days. But I had an opportunity as a reserve-team player once a month to play against the first team and that’s how I managed to impress the coach.”