Wiseman Meyiwa (right) talks to Mondli Mpotho during an Under-20 African Cup of Nations match against Zambia in March. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - Wiseman Meyiwa called his mother after he reported for South Africa’s national Under-20 (Amajita) squad last week and said to her: “Mom, they called a whole lot of players and I don’t think I’m going to make it.”

The Kaizer Chiefs reserve side midfielder was feeling overwhelmed. Meyiwa was part of the Amajita squad which qualified for the upcoming Fifa Under-20 World Cup tournament back in Zambia earlier in the year.

Two years before that, he had been part of the national Under-17 (Amajimbos) side which represented the country in both the Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations and the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

It is in this glowing background with the national youth teams that his mother reminded him that he had what it took to make another long lasting impression on his coaches again, as the Under-20 team head to their first phase of World Cup preparations which will take place from 20 May to 11 June.

Amajita will jet off to the Netherlands on Wednesday, where they are scheduled to play friendly matches against Ajax Amsterdam, Feyenoord and Pec Zwolle before for they head off to Asia for their final phase of their preparations and the World Cup tournament as well.

“My mom and I have been really close ever since,” Meyiwa said.

“I talk to her about almost everything. When I arrived here (for camp), I told her about the overwhelming number of players who have been called up for the provisional squad.

"She told me to relax and that I had what it took to make the final team. That’s all it took to ease my nerves, really.”

Not that Meyiwa is a big momma’s boy, who always runs back to mommy for every single challenge he comes across. No; in fact, far from it. The 17-year-old midfielder from Dambuza in Pietermaritzburg, left home at a very young age.

He had just turned 14 when Kaizer Chiefs told his mother that they wanted him to join their junior ranks.

Meyiwa had impressed them in a match he played against them in a junior tournament the year before they came knocking for his services. And since then, the Under-20 international has never looked back.

“Just recently, there’ve been talks at the club (Chiefs) that when I come back from the World Cup, I’ll now start training with the first team for the new season,” said Meyiwa who spent only two seasons in Chiefs’ junior ranks before he was promoted to the reserve side.

“I’m the youngest there (in the reserves) and hearing such talks gives me hope. I just have to continue working hard.”

But Meyiwa adds that playing at the World Cup will be a stepping stone towards yet another chance he’s been longing for all his life.

“Going to the World Cup also serves as an opportunity to be scouted by the other teams abroad,” Meyiwa said.

“Should that opportunity arise, I would grab it with both hands. I would like to play for Bayern Munich one of good days.”

The Star

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