Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Mfundo Vilakazi backed to handle pressure of Chiefs contract

'He is so humble and he knows how to deal with these things,' said teammate Mduduzi Shabalala.

Mfundo Vilakazi’s teammate at Kaizer Chiefs, Mduduzi Shabalala, believes his friend will cope with the pressure that comes with playing for the Amakhosi first team.

The 18 year-old Vilakazi was recently handed a contract extension that will keep him at Naturena until 2028, and is regarded as a fantastic prospect for the future at Chiefs.

“I am happy for him,” said Shabalala, who played with Vilakazi for Chiefs in the DStv Diski Challenge.

“He is a good player, a good human, he is so humble and he knows how to deal with these things.

“He has been in the spotlight. Since he was playing in the Kasi, in the Phillies Games, people have been talking about him. He must keep working, you never know who is watching, we can do better things for the team with him.”

Up to now, Vilakazi has made three substitute appearances for Cavin Johnson’s Chiefs, coming on in the Nedbank Cup last 32 game against Milford FC, in the Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates, and most recently in Sunday’s 1-0 DStv Premiership loss to Richards Bay.

‘Our situation is not the same’

Shabalala, meanwhile, has also seen fellow youngsters like Mamelodi Sundowns’ Cassius Mailula and Orlando Pirates’ Relebohile Mofokeng come through and perform very well for their respective clubs.

Mailula scored plenty of goals for Sundowns and is already playing overseas at Toronto FC, while Mofokeng has excelled this season for the Buccaneers. The 20 year old Amakhosi attacking midfielder, however, points out a clear difference in his position at Naturena.

“It is pushing me as a player, but our situation is not the same,” said Shabalala.

“We have been introduced into a team that has not been winning, they were introduced into a team in good surroundings that has been winning trophies.

“It is easy to go into a team like that and bring your (A) game. Coming to a team where you are not identified as youngsters, but as first team players who need to bring your A game every week, it is difficult. So far they are doing better than me, I won’t lie. I won’t say I am better than them but with my talent I can turn it around.”