Kick on into the top eight, Amajita star tells Ajax teammates
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CAPE TOWN - Grant Margeman jetted off for South Korea on Wednesday night consoled by the fact that Ajax Cape Town are free from relegation danger.
In fact, he can be proud of his contribution in that his mature and influential performances over the last few weeks have rocketed the team up the PSL standings.
When Ajax host Bloemfontein Celtic at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 8.15pm), they will have to do without the multi-talented 18-year-old from Bonteheuwel. But, based on what Margeman has done to inspire the team’s recent improvement, the Capetonians are determined to strive for victory and continue their march for a top eight finish, if only as a salute to their inspirational young teammate.
“Yes, I’m happy to leave Ajax and represent my country, but it was also important for me to leave the team on a high note,” said Margeman. “And that is what the team have done as we won our last two games (against Platinum Stars and Chippa United). For me, now, I would be really happy if my teammates can kick on and make the top eight.”
With Margeman absent, the challenge for head coach Stanley Menzo, in the club’s remaining three games, is to find someone to replace the youngster in midfield. The former Ajax Amsterdam and Netherlands goalkeeper won’t be short of options - Bantu Mzwakali, Lebogang Mokoena, Toriq Losper, Neo Makua and the two Zambians, Aubrey Funga and Rodrick Kabwe - but the big challenge for whoever is selected is in emulating the enterprise the teenager brought to the team.
Margeman has been simply brilliant. He has made great strides since being handed his debut this season by Menzo. Not only has he impressed with his touch, awareness of space and intelligent link play, but he has chipped in with some valuable goals too.
The young star will, of course, now be looking to transfer his superb form to the global stage at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea from May 20 to June 11. The South Africa U-20s are in Group D, alongside Japan, Uruguay and Italy.
For Ajax, as usual, their much-praised youth academy has not just sent Margeman to the junior World Cup, but two others as well - attacking midfielder Masilakhe “Scara” Phohlongo and defender Shane Saralina, both have already had a brief taste of PSL football.
“This is going to be a great stage for us as youngsters to showcase our talent to the world,” said Margeman.