Former Mamelodi Sundowns dribbling wizard, Manqoba “Shakes” Ngwenya, has lauded the team’s development after an impressive showing by one of their prominent stars, Cassius Mailula in the Carling Black Label Cup.
The margin between complimenting and overrating a football player is often a thin one. More so in a country like South Africa, where the likelihood of ‘the next best thing’ failing to realise full potential are high. We are seldom left fulfilled with the displays of our special talent.
With the rise in stardom of Cassius, a few naysayers might warn against singing young players praises too soon, however, Shakes thinks credit should be given where it’s due, with a bit of caution.
“Mailula has been showing signs of being a quality player. His confidence is high. He was given an opportunity in the champions league and he took it with both hands, but I think he shouldn’t be pressured into being compared to the likes of Mambush.”
Ngwenya has also begged for patience on behalf of the 21-year old forward, as rushing his process might cause his development to stagnate.
“Let’s give him time and an opportunity to grow in the team. He must just keep his feet on the ground and he’ll make it.”
Sundowns victory on Saturday saw the Brazilian coach, Rhulani Mokwena take a gamble with younger players, and their performance has also left Shakes convinced that Cassius will not be the only rookie to make it in this star studded Sundowns team this season.
“Just watch the space. He [Mailula] is not the only one, there’s Nkosi [Ntando] as well coming through. He had his first game and he’s a midfielder. We are still going to see more from him.”
With Sundowns having the resources to buy players in their peak, it will be interesting to witness the blending in of youngsters into the team.