Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
4 minute read
18 Jul 2018
10:09 am

Chiefs youngster vows to live up to hype

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

On his way to making a name for himself in the football fraternity, Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa keeps getting praised for his talent.

Wiseman Meyiwa of Kaizer Chiefs (Aubrey Kgakatsi/Backpagepix)

But the 18-year old doesn’t let it go to his head and he rather focuses on improving game by game.

Since his early days as a schoolboy back in his hometown of Pietermaritzburg, the midfielder was told that he would make it big in the sport and should put his focus on becoming a star one day. This was said by his teachers and people from his community.

And in the last couple of years the Amakhosi teenager is slowly moving towards stardom. Since joining the Chiefs development squad in January 2014, Meyiwa says he has never looked back and has vowed to make the prophesies a reality.

The youngster admits that life was a bit difficult for him in his first few months in Gauteng, with family and friends always at the back of his mind. But being at the structures of a top football team of Chiefs’ calibre, he knew that he had to stay strong and work towards making his dream a reality.

“Football for me started at school and a lot of people had a lot to say about how I play. People in the streets always complimented me for the way I played, especially teachers at school saw my potential,” said the Chiefs player.

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“I remember when I started at Chiefs,” Meyiwa recalls. “It all started in 2013 while playing in the Discovery tournament in Soweto. We were camping in Johannesburg during the December holidays and played in that tournament. It was difficult and I remember we were beaten heavily by teams from the area.

“After our last game, coach Arthur Zwane approached me and asked me to come and join Chiefs in January the following year. I was so excited. It was the first time I had been away from my family for so long and it was not easy, but I just had to cope.”

Meyiwa coped really well at the Amakhosi juniors and made a name for himself, which saw him earning national Under-17 call-ups and he got to represent the country at the 2015 Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

His career has really blossomed and he has also played for the national team at the 2017 Under-20 Fifa World Cup in Korea. Amajita had a difficult time at the competition and were knocked out of the group stages after suffering two defeats, earning one draw in the process.

However, Meyiwa’s individual performances were something that caught the eye of many, particularly Italy’s Under-17 coach Alberigo Evani, who was full of praise for the youngster and said Meyiwa is destined for European club football.

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The midfielder still remembers what Evani said and he believes that one day he will indeed play overseas.

“It was great to get compliments from the Italy coach, I remember he came to me after the game and told me he was impressed with me. I was not happy with the fact that we did not do well as a team at the tournament, however, his words really motivated me and I will continue to work hard so that I can make my dream of playing in one of the top leagues overseas come true.”

Meyiwa was promoted to the Chiefs first team last season and played his first game for the club against Cape Town City, where he scored on debut. The Pietermaritzburg-born player adds that his first goal for the club was really special to him and he couldn’t believe that he actually scored on debut.

Ahead of the new season, the teenager is eager to get more game time at the club and believes the team will make their fans happy in the new campaign.

“We owe our fans a lot, but I am confident that this season we will be on top of our game. We have made good signings and we fight very hard to get some silverware.”

The midfielder is currently in camp with Thabo Senong’s Under-20 team who are on a mission to qualify for the Caf Under-20 Afcon. They played to a goalless draw with Malawi in the first leg of their final qualifier, played at Moruleng Stadium this past weekend. The team will be heading off to Malawi for the second leg this week.