MACBETH Mahlangu burst in to scene this past weekend against Stellenbosch FC.
He made his professional debut for TS Galaxy as we suffered our first defeat in the DSTV Premiership at the expense of Stellenbosch.
Mahlangu who is born and breed in KwaNdebele excelled on his debut before cramps ended his first game in top flight football.
The 19-year-old partnered Given Msimango at the heart of defence for the Rockets. TS Galaxy (TSG) website sat down with Macbeth Mahlangu (MM) to discuss his debut, goals and objectives.
TSG: How did it feel to finally to make your DSTV Premiership debut?
MM: I’m happy to have made my debut. I’m over the moon.
TSG: When the coach (Dan Malesela) informed you that you were in the starting line up, how did you handle that?
MM: I was scared a bit. The coach spoke to me before the game and informed me that there is no pressure. He told me to stay calm and play my normal football. His guidance played a pivotal role in myself staying calm during the game. He was motivating me all the way. He stated that when he played professional football, he also started at an early age. The coach stated that he made his debut at the age of 18. That inspired me.
TSG: You didn’t show any fear during the game. What kept you calm?
MM: The experience players like Yeye (Reneilwe Letsholonyane) also helped me to eradicate my fears. Our captain, Given Msimango also assisted me to feel comfortable at the back together with Tumelo Bodibe. After having some few touches, I then started to gain my confidence. I could feel that I was playing professional football now and I needed to continue working hard so that I can get these opportunities frequently.
TSG: Are you astonished that you have made your debut at such a young age?
MM: It has always been a childhood dream of mine to play professional football. I’m happy that I’ve now fullfilled that dream of mine. I’ve always been focused and there is no looking back from now. I couldn’t believe it but it has now sinked in that I’m playing in the DSTV Premiership now.
TSG: What are your goals and objectives?
MM: I want to play more games so that I can be able to gain experience. Not so long ago, I received a call up in the SA-Under-20 squad but I was sent back. I want to get back in to that Under-20 squad so that I can showcase myself. My dream is to play overseas. I can only achieve that by playing regularly and representing my country. I want to maintain the same consistency throughout the season. It doesn’t matter whether we are playing against the big team or not.
TSG: Our next assignment is against Mamelodi Sundowns. Ready for that encounter?
MM: I don’t want to pay too much attention on Mamelodi Sundowns. That can make me to lose focus. I know what I need to do when we face Sundowns. I understand that they are a big team and all that but I also have goals to achieve. So, I won’t be intimidated by that. I’m adamant that we will be able to contain Sundowns.
TSG: How key is our next game after succumbing to a defeat against Stellenbosch in our previous encounter?
MM: The next game is very important for us. We are not in the DSTV Premiership to add numbers. We want to finish in the top five. We can only achieve that by winning our games. We have to win this game. We don’t want to drop too far in the log. This game is very important.
TSG: How did you handle your situation when you were not playing in the first five games?
MM: I didn’t expect that I’ll play from the word go. I knew that I needed to be patient and that’s what I did. I worked very hard while waiting for my chance to play. I knew that I had to work more harder to get my chance.
The coach felt that I was ready and then I grabbed my chance.
TSG: You’ve proven that anything is possible by making it in to the professional football from KwaNdebele.
MM: It is a huge feeling. If you look at where I come from, you’ll never have thought that I’ll reach this level. From the dusty streets of KwaNdebele to professional football, it is not easy. This is a testimony that everything is possible. The chairman (Tim Sukazi) helped me a lot to be where I am right now.
TSG: How did you handle your disappointment of not making the final squad for the SA-Under-20?
MM: I was hurt but I never took it personal. These things do happen in football. That’s how character is built. I can’t just dwell on that. As I’ve eluded, I’ve got goals to achieve. I have no doubt that if I continue to work hard and make use of my opportunities, I’ll get another chance to represent my country.