They say dynamites come in small packages, this as nowadays the future is put entirely in the youths’ hands. Fresh from junior ranks, Soshanguve Extension 2 based side, Madiba Cosmos’ Under 19 players Alex Lephale, Tlhleki Ramushu and Boipelo Mahlangu who were recently promoted to the first team were living proof that age is indeed just a number.
Currently doing their trade in the Soshanguve Local Football Association(SOLFA)’s Super League under the guidance of experienced mentor, Shadrack Mathonsi, the trio have wowed the coach in the two matches that they have played thus far.
Despite SOLFA’s newly changed rules which require all Super league teams to have Under 19 players in all their starting line ups as a means of forcing teams to invest in young players and to make sure that grassroots football remain alive, coach Mathonsi expressed his intentions of building his team around young players despite the Association’s intervention.
“It’s an honour working with these young boys, I have always been a fan of giving young players a chance and with the players I have I believe we can go far. I said it before that my job is to build a team for the future based on a new generation of players,” said Mathonsi, who further heaped praise on the progress the Under 19 players have made so far, also commending their work rate at training.
Boipelo Mahlangu who is one of the Under 19 players have enjoyed some game time since joining the senior team, bagging a moral-boosting assist in their league opener against Army Joe Roman Stars away in Block P.
Mahlangu revealed to Tshwane Bulletin that he has been receiving nothing but love and support from his team mates, further adding that he appreciated it and would continue to work hard to help the team this season.
“The environment has been good and I am enjoying every moment with the team. I am willing to fight for the team and with the players we have I believe we can win the league this season”.
Alex Lephale who has proven to be a beast in the middle of the park, aged just 18 said that he was also delighted by the set up of the team, adding that, “It has been a good experience so far since my arrival at the club. I don’t think there’s anything I can complain about”.
Lephale also alluded to the fact that training sessions were different from his previous club, “What I have enjoyed most is the coach’s training sessions, the coach make them fun and enjoyable for us as players”.
17-year-old Thleki Ramushu who joined the team a week leading up to the first league game had fitted like a hand in glove since his arrival, quickly adapting to the club’s culture and making the left-back position his own.
After an impressive man-of-the-match display in his debut against Amy Joe Roman Stars away from home, Ramashu was rewarded with another starting berth last week where he played the entire 90 minutes of the game.
‘Madorra’ as he is affectionately known, refused to be complacent and said despite having impressed in his first two games, there was still a lot to learn, insisting that he would only get better with time as there was always room for improvement.
“I can’t say much but the boys have been good to me and I like being here. My aim is to help the team gain promotion and lift my first ever trophy as a player,” he said.
Madiba Cosmos have won one and lost one in their two league games and in both of the games the three players featured on the starting eleven .
Despite having started the 2021/2022 Super League season on a high note after dismantling Amy Joe Roman Stars 3-1, Cosmos were handed their first league defeat by an on-form Pretoria City on home soil, losing by a goal to nil, and dropping to seventh position on the log standing.
Cosmos would be looking to redeem themselves when they pay visit to arch-rivals Sosh Movers in what was regarded as a ‘derby match’, and a ‘must-win’ for the Extension 2 outfit.