South Africa Men’s Under-20 National Team captain Motjeka Madisha says he would feel gutted if they let the Commonwealth Cup slip through their fingers having done ‘all the donkey work’ up to now. Amajita take on Belarus in the semi-final of the Commonwealth Cup taking place in St Petersburg, Russia tomorrow afternoon (Friday, 23 January 2015; kick off 16:30). The winner will play either Turkmenistan or Finland in the final scheduled for Sunday, 25 January.
“We can feel the trophy is within our grasp. We overcome a tough home side Russia and I think that was the most difficult part, no disrespect to Belarus, Finland or Turkmenistan. The feeling of lifting this trophy will be great. I have spoken to most of my teammates and they also think winning this tournament would catapult their careers to the next level. Most of us are still fringe players at our respective clubs but we think after this tournament, coaches will start looking at us seriously,” said the towering centre back. The tough tackling Madisha says his immediate aim is to break into the Sundowns starting 11 and is somehow getting frustrated by not getting that opportunity. He however, added the good trait of a professional footballer is patience, “My time will come but I believe if given a chance, I am more than ready.”
Coming back to the Commonwealth Cup, Madisha says the pattern of play in the two-week tournament has been of high standards and liked everything about Russia. “This is a great country and I would one day want to come and play here. Everything is top class, the stadiums are great, the people are friendly and the standard of soccer is up there among the best. People only talk about soccer in Western Europe as the real deal but there is top class soccer here in the Eastern bloc. Russia in particular has really impressed me,” he said. Madisha has caught the eye of some roving agents who are all over here and he says winning the cup would expedite his move to greater things, “If we beat Belarus and go on to win this Commonwealth Cup, it would be a big boost for the future of South African football which has been on the rise recently. It will also boost our confidence going to the CAF African Youth tournament scheduled for Senegal. Winning is always a good culture and that is what we want to develop in this team. Tomorrow is also a big day for South African football. We want to start that perfect day by beating Belarus to set the tone for Bafana’s game against Senegal later. If we all win tomorrow, we will have given fans a good weekend gift.”