AmaZulu have found a star in Tapelo Nyongo. Not only is he an exceptional talent, but he also comes with luck with him, which is what the club has been in need of this season.
The 18-year-old central defender made his professional debut for AmaZulu when the club registered its victory against University of Pretoria in December and has since then never looked back. He also started when Usuthu beat Bidvest Wits this year.
The soft-spoken youngster spoke to Amazulufc.net about his dream of playing for AmaZulu and his future plans.
How did your breakthrough at AmaZulu come about?
My coach recommended me, and I was invited for trials before going to a Nike tournament back in Johannesburg and the rest is history.
What was it like when you received the call-up saying come back and sign the contract?
I couldn’t believe it; I mean it’s every boy’s dream to play for a professional football club, and so when that happened I was just over the moon. The challenge in the first three months was that I missed home a lot because it was my first time being away from home for that long.
Joining AmaZulu in such challenging times, how much pressure did that have on you?
There was a lot of pressure but I think when I made my debut and the team won that got the tension better as I believed that things will be better.
Who is the closest player to you in the camp?
Nhlanhla Shabalala, he is like a mentor to me. He encourages me to work hard and always advises me on what to look out for.
You are excelling in every game that you are playing, what are some of your personal goals?
Well, the first one is to get more game time and help the team win. From there I hope to be in the Under-23 squad that will play in the Olympics next year. I know it just a dream, but anything is possible.
How has your relationship been with coach Steve Barker?
Honestly speaking, he is a great coach. Not just a coach, but a motivator. He does not dwell too much on the negatives and he encourages us to push ourselves.
The club has been in good form in the past games, how important is it to maintain that?
The mood in the camp is great and we all know that every game we must get the maximum points, especially when we playing at home.