JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs’ B team trickster Katlego Ntsabeleng’s aspirations of obtaining his academic qualification before focusing on football on a full-time basis will have to wait this weekend.
He’ll first have to help Chiefs graduate past his former team Mamelodi Sundowns in the MultiChoice Diski Shield final at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday (3pm kickoff).
The BCom Sport Management second-year student is very passionate about education and says he’ll only consider professional football once he has completed his studies.
“Before I can profession football, I want to get my qualification first,” Ntsabeleng said.
“From there, I’d like to play overseas, and if I can study that side as well, I’d grab that opportunity with both hands. Once you have the qualification, no one can take it away from you, but in football, it’s a different story.”
Before Ntsabeleng surfaced at Chiefs late last year, he had played for Sundowns’ youth academy ranks, but due to the distance between University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Chloorkop, it was tough for him to juggle both.
As a result, the 20-year-old quit the Brazilians, focused on his studies and played varsity football. That was before an opportunity to join the Glamour Boys came begging.
“Since both Chiefs and UJ have a SAB team, we played against each other in the league,” he explained.
“Then that’s where coach Arthur (Zwane) spotted me and he invited me for trials, and as they say, the rest is history.”
It all comes down to this 🥇🏆
The FINAL of the 2018 MultiChoice Diski Shield will be LIVE on SS4/SS10 at 15:00
Who will be lifting the Shield for the very first time? @Masandawana or @KaizerChiefs 🤔#DiskiShield#Asidlali pic.twitter.com/wJH1fcY6pY
Asked on how he will react when facing his former team for the first time, he said: “Obviously playing my former team is a big game for me, but I have to do my job as a Kaizer Chiefs player.
“I have to put my feelings aside, play the game and hopefully we will win. I also cannot avoid the fact that it’s the finals, and there’ll be nerves, but I think I’ll manage (to play my normal game).”
After making his debut in the 1-1 stalemate against rivals Orlando Pirates last November, ‘Tsiki’ has since been an integral part of Zwane’s squad as he has featured in almost all the matches.
The Etwatwa-born player also acknowledges that the quick adaptation into the Naturena-based team set-up has swept him off his feet.
“I can’t explain the feeling of how my season has turned out to be since arriving in the team, it’s overwhelming,” the 20-year-old said.
“I didn’t expect things to happen as soon as they did. I am enjoying my football at another level, and I think I’m improving, thanks to the training, coaching and support that we get.”