JOHANNESBURG – Katlego Mohamme is driven by one small goal… to make his family proud. That will take care of his bigger ambitions.

The 18-year-old middle child, in a family of three children, is the only footballer in his family. He promised to give his parents two things, his Matric certificate by the end of this year and a first team contract soon.

A good showing at the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nationswith the national team could go a long way towards helping him get that contract at SuperSport United. The tournament starts tomorrow in Zambia and Amajita begin their Group B campaign against Cameroon on Sunday.

Mohamme and company have to negotiate their way past Cameroon, Senegal and Sudan to finish in the top two of Group B to become only the third South African generation to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup, following in the steps of the classes of 1997 and 2009. 

It would also see Mohamme play in his second World Cup along with nine others in the current squad after they did duty with the national Under-17 team in Chile two years ago.

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Mohamme had an eventful tournament in Chile, the centreback conceding a penalty with a clumsy tackle in the 1-1 draw with North Korea. But it was a valuable experience.

“I graduated from the Under-17 to another level, which shows there is some improvement in my game,” Mohamme said. “I am looking forward to qualifying and playing in another World Cup. Chile was a great experience, playing against some intelligent players and tasting a different level of competition. It took my game to a higher level.”

Mohamme’s built and height will come in handy against tall and physically imposing opponents. Amajita coach Thabo Senong infused height and strength to the naturally pacy and skillful team after the previous generation got bullied off the park in Senegal two years ago.

Mohamme, powered by the desire to make his family proud, brings his will of steel to the equation.

“We are a determined family, always looking to achieve the best. I can’t be the one who lets them down now. I have to make sure that my younger sister has someone to look up to. My being here isn’t just about me. It is about representing my family and then the country. There are a lot of my peers from Soshanguve who do drugs and other bad things. I have to be a good role model by succeeding, to show them that there is another way.”

Mohamme describes himself as the attention-seeker in his family. In Zambia, he will be giving attention to the opposition’s attacking threat. Doing that is second nature for Mohamme. It’s a skill that saw SuperSport scout him from Rosina Sedibane Modiba Sport School in 2013.

The Star

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