JOHANNESBURG - Rodney Ramagalela believes that only one thing can stand between him and this being his best season to date.
The Polokwane City forward has started the 2017/18 season with a bang. He and his teammates will appear in the semi-final of the Telkom Knockout on Sunday next week at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium for the first time in the club’s history.
Ramagalela leads the scorer’s chart with six goals and three assists. One of those goals, an audacious volley against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versefeld on August 22, earned him the Goal of the Month for August/September award. That award came along with the Player of the Month gong for October that he received at the Premier Soccer League’s headquarters in Parktown on Thursday with Bloemfontein Celtic’s Veselin Jelusic taking home the Coach of the Month award.
“I believe that if I am injury free, I can make things happen for myself and the team,” Ramagalela said. “I just have to keep on working hard and see how far I can go. I don’t have a specific number of goals that I would like to finish the season with. Just as long as I continue to score and Polokwane is safe. That’s all that counts. If Polokwane City is safe, Rama G is safe also.”
Despite having scored more goals than any other player in the country this season, Ramagalela will be in the stands at Peter Mokaba Stadium tonight in Bafana Bafana’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal. Ramagalela was a surprise omission in the squad given the bright start he has had and the ease with which he has been finding the back of the net as well as assisting his strike partner Rendani Ndou. But Ramagalela took the snub on the chin, arguing he will use it to motivate himself so that he is in the set-up in the next squad Stuart Baxter will announce.
“When it comes to the national team, we don’t have control over that. The only thing that we have to do is wait and see the outcome. As long as I keep working hard, I will continue to wait just like you guys who are waiting to see if I will be selected for the national team," he added.
"At the end of the day, we are all South Africans and we should support the national team. The only thing that we have to do is to go to the stadium and support our team. I believe that one day my day will come.”
That mentality is what helped the 28-year-old endure a tough childhood before turning professional. “Talent alone is nothing,” Ramagalela said. “I prefer to work hard.”