A Sports Management student from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) attracted attention recently when he turned out for Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Mamelodi Sundowns in the Multi Diski Challenge (MDC) reserve team. Nineteen-year old Katlego Ntsabeleng dreams of becoming a professional player, but is equally determined to secure his future with university education.
In his MDC debut match against SuperSport United, Ntsabeleng found the net as his team won 3-0, catching the eye of the South African selectors to be included in an Under-20 national training camp held last month.
While he is making his mark on the soccer field, the UJ star, who grew up in Etwatwa, Ekurhuleni region, says he also wants to ensure that he completes his studies before pursuing a professional footballing career.
“The biggest challenge I faced in my first year at UJ in 2016 was to manage my commitment to soccer and my studies,” he says.
“I see education as an important part of my life because in 10 years’ time I want to have at least two qualifications, as well as being a regular player in a professional team.”
Ntsabeleng now lives in a student residence in the Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) campus where he hopes to finish his undergraduate studies.
An offensive player who can perform as an attacking midfielder, Ntsabeleng says the highlight of his career was when he was called up to the recent training camp.
Having developed his game at the Stars of Africa Football Academy, the teenager has targeted a berth in the PSL as the stepping stone to higher honours.
“My goal is to try to earn a place in the PSL and long-term I would love to have a chance to play overseas and hopefully experience major competitions such as the Champions League in Europe.”
“The most influential person in my life has to be my dad (River Ntsabeleng), who has been there for me since I started pursuing my career. In fact, I’d like to thank everyone who has played a part in getting me where I am today.”