JOHANNESBURG - For a footballer to be regarded as one of the best in the game, he has to compete with the very best. One player who seems to be working way his way up the corporate ladder is Mamelodi Sundowns’ defender Motjeka Madisha. From leading the reserve team, to domestic and international victories, returning to first team action and recently getting a Bafana Bafana call-up in a crucial encounter - all in just six months - is not child’s play.
“For me, it was a bit challenging. Coming from the development side, it is always difficult for us (junior players) to go through," explained Madisha. "But I think the team managed to look after me - they told me what to do and what not. I am grateful for what the club has done for me. I wish to stay here longer and win more trophies with the team."
With a star-studded squad at Sundowns, it is not easy for youngsters to get first nod in Mosimane’s starting line-up but Madisha is slowly cementing his place in The Brazilians’ defence. The 22-year-old competes for a place alongside experienced defenders Thabo Nthethe, Bangaly Soumahoro, Wayne Arendse and injured Rivaldo Coetzee. But Madisha is not fazed, rather banking on the experience of rubbing shoulders with some of the very best in the industry.
“Having such talent at the club is amazing. So I just told myself to keep pushing and grinding for the results. That has been working for me and I am grateful for what I have achieved, but there’s still more work to be done," said Madisha.
When Madisha was deemed surplus to first-team requirements a season ago, he was dropped to the reserve side - a platform the Johannesburg-born centre-back used in order to work on his game. Madisha is now a first team regular, but the reserve team has hadh unsatisfactory outings in his absence. The former winning captain of the side bemoans inexperience by the lads.
“We always want to try something new. We thought we should give other boys a chance to play. If you check the majority of the team is 16-17 years of age. So, it is the team’s motto to use youngsters as much as possible but at the same time it is discouraging to lose games,’’ said Madisha.
“I am happy with the game against Kaizer Chiefs(in the reserve league), they were two men down but they managed to collect three points. They have reached a turning curve in terms of results and that makes me happy."