Absa Premiership

Cele adapting to change

2014-10-02 13:43
Mondli-Cele (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Port Shepstone native Mondli Cele said he was adapting well to life in the Premiership after being snapped up by Maritzburg United this season.

Read: Can Chiefs be stopped?

Cele, used to ply his trade in the Vodacom League, where he represented hometown club Gamalakhe United.

However, his circumstances improved markedly when Gamalakhe qualified for the main draw of the Nedbank Cup, which is when he caught the attention of the Team of Choice.

The transition to the top flight has been seamless and Cele attributes that to the outstanding work done by the management team at his new club.

"The assistant coach, Mandla, saw me playing last season in the Nedbank Cup for Gamalakhe against Santos down in Cape Town," Cele told the club’s website.

"I was invited to train with the club before the end of last season, and then returned for pre-season and subsequently signed a contract.”

"I was very happy with the opportunity the technical team gave me - it’s very difficult for players from the Third Division to get a chance in the PSL, it does not happen a lot.”

"For me it was a life-changing opportunity, I had the hunger to play at this level, and I was determined to make the most of the chance.”

“So I have been working extremely hard at training, and this has helped me adapt quickly to playing at a higher level.”

Cele has won over the favour of Maritzburg coach Steve Komphela this term, having made the starting line-up on seven occasions, and the journey is just starting for the 25-year-old.

The next assignment for Komphela's side will be a Telkom Knockout fixture against Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium, and Cele wants to contribute as much as he can on that front too.

"Playing against Chiefs last week was a dream come true, something I had dreamt about since my childhood," he added.

"I went in to that game with an open heart, it was a great experience for me. With Chiefs doing so well this season, I knew a lot of people would be watching that game, and that a lot of people would see me, so I wanted to do well.

"Now we play them again in the TKO. We can’t let them beat us twice, this time we have to win the game. It had been my dream to score against Chiefs - it never happened last week, but luckily I’ll get another chance this week, and hopefully I can help my team make it through to the last eight."

Chiefs are unbeaten in their last five meetings with United, including a 1-0 win in a league match this past weekend. Kick-off is at 20:15 on Saturday, October 4.

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