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“It’s my wish that one day I change the situation back home,” says Kaizer Chiefs’ Khulumani Ndamane

By Ongama Gcwabe , in Football | News , at 2023-11-23 Tags:

“It’s my wish that one day I change the situation back home. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily say that we are poor because there’s even poorer families back home, but I really want to make a difference since I have been given this talent and all these opportunities,” Khulumani Ndamane told SuperSport Schools recently in an exclusive interview.

For a boy coming from humble beginnings in the KwaZulu-Natal village of Sahlumbe, near Ladysmith, donning the gold and black colours of Kaizer Chiefs is a massive achievement.

Ndamane was spotted during the playoffs of his team, FC Drakensberg, where he was an integral part of its success in being promoted to a higher league.

On the 2nd of August last year, he arrived in Johannesburg for the first time for a trial at centre-back. Ever since, he has made Naturena his home, starring for Chiefs in the Gauteng Development League (GDL).

“I was playing in KZN for FC Drakensberg and after the [2022] season we played playoffs for us to get promoted to the Vodacom League. After that I went to an agent, and then I came up to Joburg for the trials,” Ndamane recalled.

“I was so scared and nervous coming here because having all these facilities at the Village can be quite intimidating, but with time I got used to the facilities, my teammates and the coaches.”

READ: “We want to dominate,” said David Mathebula ahead of GDL Quarterfinals

Ndamane is one of a few players, who has turned out for both the u17 and u19 teams, that coach Vela Khumalo has also had do duty in the DStv Diski Challenge (DDC).

It was a steep jump moving from the GDL to the DDC, Ndamane said, but being selected by coach Khumalo was a big confidence-booster.

“It means a lot if you’re promoted. You get a sense of hope that you will eventually make it to the top and also it really boosts your self-belief as a player,” he said.

“But the fact of the matter is that it is a new challenge, and it’s not anywhere near being similar to the GDL, because when you get there the supporters are heavily involved in the games and the pressure that comes with that is immense. So, you have to be strong mentally because you can find yourself making mistakes.”

The GDL Youth Cup takes centre stage this weekend as Ndamane and his Kaizer Chiefs u19 teammates look to ambush the Cup favourites. They host Highlands Park u19, who were the convincing winners of the GDL League.

READ: Redemption for Kaizer Chiefs as they face Highlands Park?

“Whenever we play them, it is really tough because they are very sound defensively. This coming Saturday, we’ll have to be clinical in front of goal and make sure that we make full use of our opportunities,” he said.

He also highlighted what u19 coach David Mathebula has been communicating with the Chiefs’ players during the build-up to the clash.

“The message from the coach has been very clear heading into the quarterfinals. He’s been big on us being patient and removing emotions in a game like this because it is natural for us players to want to prove ourselves and have a bit of animosity against a team that we haven’t been able to beat this season.”

The mouth-watering tie is kicks off at 13.30 SAST.

READ: GDL Youth Cup Quarterfinalists

 

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.