Maritzburg's Deolin Mekoain action during the Nedbank Cup semi-final match against Mamelodi Sundowns on 22 April. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Deolin Mekoa made his professional debut in 2014 for Maritzburg United but he has already experienced the highs and lows of the game.

In his maiden season, the Team of Choice finished in the top eight bracket for the first time. The joy of being a part of such an historic achievement was short-lived for Mekoa though as things turned pear-shaped the following season, Maritzburg surviving relegation on the last day.

Mekoa, however, made up for that by going to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Things got better and better for Mekoa as he attracted the eye of the national selectors. The youngster from Wentworth, has been capped four times by Bafana Bafana.

Last season he was an integral part of the Maritzburg team that finished in seventh position

In this campaign, he has been influential in seeing the team punching above their weight and finding themselves in third place with just three matches to go.

More importantly though, he has played an important role in the Team of Choice reaching their first ever cup final, the Nedbank Cup.

Mekoa want to cap all of these achievements with a winners' medal come May 19th.

“I have achieved a lot since I’ve joined Maritzburg United. But this is a great achievement for me, the whole team and the fans. I’m over the moon at being in the final. I can’t wait. I’m enjoying my football. I’m not going to stop now. I want to reach greater heights. I want to reach the top. I want to play in Africa.”

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For that to happen, Mekoa and his teammates must beat Free State Stars in Cape Town to qualify for the Caf Confederation Cup. “We want to push for more. It is going to be a tough match against Stars. They beat us here (at the Harry Gwala Stadium) and we beat them 3-0 away, so it is going to be hell of the game. But we want to win the cup,” Mekoa elaborated.

The left-footed midfielder could have joined Sundowns, their victims in the semi-final at the weekend and their opponents in the league tonight, but the move fell through.

“Well, I just told myself that oh ya, I’m staying and I’m not going anywhere. So I decided to improve my game. I want to keep doing the right things that the coach wants. And I’m not going to stop here. I want to get more Bafana call ups. My dream is to play overseas.”

His immediate dream is to help Maritzburg complete back-to-back wins over Sundowns.

“We will see on Wednesday what will happen. It won’t be an easy game. They will be going for revenge. So we don’t have to relax. We can’t think about the final now. We have to keep pushing and win our remaining league games.”


The Mercury

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