Johannesburg - National Under-20 captain Thendo Mukumela believes it is just a matter of time before he breaks into the Mamelodi Sundowns senior team.
The 19-year-old defender is yet to feature for the Brazilians, despite his promotion at the beginning of the season.
“I always tell people that my inspiration comes from Motjeka [Madisha] and Tiyani [Mabunda] as they both spent a long time waiting before breaking into the team, but they are now regulars at the club,” said Mukumela.
Help shape his career
Madisha graduated from the MultiChoice Diski Challenge team to become a regular centre-back at the club. Mabunda made a comeback and is now one of the best midfielders at the club.
Mukumela said the technical team always encouraged him to keep working hard, assuring him that his time would come.
He believes his good showing in national colours will do the talking for him.
On Saturday, Mukumela guided Amajita to their second Cosafa title in three years and said the victory would help shape his career.
The defender is one of the three remaining members of the squad that represented the country at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea in May.
He has now set his eyes on qualifying for the CAF Youth Championships and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“Now that this [the Cosafa tournament] is out of the way, our focus will be on qualifying for the CAF championships.
“We did what we came here to do and the players showed great determination to lift the trophy,” he said.
For Mukumela, the victory was sweet after finishing fourth the last time he was in Zambia during the CAF Eight Nations tournament earlier in the year.
He said he was looking to graduate to the national Under-23 team, which will compete in the Olympic qualifiers next year.
But he needs to break into the Sundowns team and play regularly for the club first.
He hopes coach Pitso Mosimane had watched the tournament because he believes that, after his performance in Zambia, he should be included in the Downs team.