Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
4 minute read
9 Mar 2016
10:04 am

Chiefs youngster desperate for a chance

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Scoring goals is something that runs in the veins of Kaizer Chiefs reserve striker Emmanuel Letlotlo.

Emmanuel Letlotlo, Kaizer Chiefs. © Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Since he started kicking the ball in his home town of Klipspruit, Soweto, playing for his father’s team Young Stars FC, the 20-year-old said he was scoring goals, whether it was at training or in actual games.

“I grew up enjoying scoring goals,” said Letlotlo. “It makes me happy and whenever I finish the game without scoring, I feel very bad because it is like I have let my team down. As a striker, it is my job to get goals and make sure the team win.

“It does not sit well with me when I don’t get a goal, especially if our team end up losing. My team-mates already know when it happens and I will just get in the bus and listen to music to ease the pain.”

Letlotlo joined the Amakhosi development team in 2011 after a close friend organised trials for him and it took only one friendly game for him to impress the coaches.

“I scored five goals in that game, and the coaches didn’t hesitate to register me.”

READ: Adebayor wants to solve Chiefs goal scoring problems

The youngster, who is affectionately known as “Adebayor,” has been a key member of the young Chiefs reserve squad, scoring and creating goals for Donald Khuse’s side, which finished sixth in the league standings in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge.

Letlotlo finished the second season of the MDC as the league’s top scorer, with nine goals to his name.

With such performances throughout the whole season, the word has gone around that the first team is looking into promoting the youngster for next season.

“If it happens that I get promoted I would be very happy, because I know I have been working hard and surely the coaches of the senior team have been watching me,” said the Grade 11 pupil of Thaba Jabula Secondary School in Pimville.

The striker feels he is ready to graduate to Steve Komphela’s side, with the aim of being the answer to their goalscoring problems, which is affecting the team’s ambitions of retaining their league title which is likely to be snatched away by Mamelodi Sundowns.

“I want to see myself playing in the first team next season. I can see the team are struggling to get goals at the moment and I believe I can help out and be the striker they need. I just want to get there, fight for a place in the starting XI and help the team to get goals,” said the 19-year old.

“But nothing has been said at the moment to me, I guess I will just have to wait for the call.”

He has has also set his sight on playing for the senior national team one day. The young goalpoacher said there has been a cry over lack of lethal strikers in the country, but that will be a thing of the past in the near future, with him and some of his peers set to take the country to a higher level in the game.

“My wish is to also become the number one striker in the national team, because we are also struggling there. It has been a problem for many years now, but the next generation which will play for Bafana Bafana will have strikers who will score goals week in, week out.

“I have not even had the chance to play for any junior national teams yet, because that is where I have to start. I hope it will happen soon, especially now with the Under-23 squad set to play in the Olympic Games.”

His father Sam Sebola said his son has always shown great potential and that he will one day be a professional footballer, and insists it is just a matter of time before he leads the Chiefs attack.

“He has been dedicated, passionate and very hard-working from an early age. I remember when he was just playing for the Under-13 team, my senior team was playing a match and they couldn’t score goals. While he was sitting next to me, he asked me to put him on and I said ‘no, you can’t play here, they are bigger than you’,” recalled Sebola.

“He started crying and I decided to give him a run. Unbelievably, he changed the whole complexion of the game. He created two goals during that match. I see a great future for him, he just needs to remain focused and humble – most importantly, he should always work hard.”