The power behind ‘Tower’

Posted: 10 May 2011 Time: 11:32 am

Bloemfontein Celtic’s young defender Erick Mathoho is the Premiership’s next big thing – but he could be headed overseas if the ‘big three’ do not snatch him up.

Mathoho has been in the news a lot recently, he is in Pitso Mosimane’s squad to face Tanzania, has been nominated for Absa Premiership Young Player of the Season, and received a notable mention in the PSL Player of the Month Award for March/April.

In the latest edition of KICK OFF (out now!) we speak to the player’s coaches, who believe he is good enough for an overseas move, despite this being only his first season in the Premiership.

“He is a very quiet boy ... a bit like I was as a player,” says Celtic coach Clinton Larsen, who was a scheming midfielder with Manning Rangers and Orlando Pirates in the 1980s and ’90s.

“I used to go to training and then go home, so I understand this player. You need to show you believe in him and encourage him a lot – but he has ambitions to play overseas one day and I think he will definitely do that.”

Mathoho made his debut for Amaglug-glug against Libya recently, and Larsen says he showed character rare for a player his age.

“He is only 21 but he has been outstanding,” Larsen says. “He is never overawed by big occasions or big-name players and teams ... he carried his club form to the national team with ease. Not many players can do that.”

‘Tower’ made his debut against Mamelodi Sundowns on February 3, 2010, when Owen da Gama was in charge at Celtic.

“I knew in my heart the first time I saw him that he was a gem,” Da Gama says. “He was not big-headed; he was hungry.

But Da Gama cautions Mathoho against a hasty move to the bright lights of Gauteng. “He must go overseas, but if an overseas move doesn’t happen, he must remain at Celtic,” he says.

“Yes, the big clubs will promise him big money. But the player comes back a reluctant contributor.

“I know players get more exposure at Chiefs, Pirates or Sundowns, but the pressure is so much higher there with five players competing for the same position. It is going to put him under unnecessary pressure.”

But Larsen is confident in Celtic’s new hero: “I don’t think he will go off the track as he has the right attitude – a good professional and humble like Bongani Khumalo.

“He has a very good head on his shoulders and does not smoke or drink. Tower is a special player – but it is also up to us at Celtic to keep him and the other youngsters grounded and on the right path,” the coach says.

Get the latest KICK OFF (issue 405, on shelves now!) to read the inspirational story of how Mathoho was ‘developed’ in a tiny village in Venda, with bruised feet, balls made out of onion bags and games on maize fields: “we would normally play there after harvest time when there were no crops to destroy,” he says.

“Sometimes you would kick the ground and tear off your toenail ...”

To read the latest issue of KICK OFF on your iPad, Mac or PC, click here!

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Previous comments on this story...

posted: 12:01 pm
murathu wanga ni songo ya kha sunkops vha doni vhulayela bola khwine ni tshiya kha makhosi hune na dowana game time na dovha hafhu na regular kha bafana bafana
posted: 12:01 pm
murathu wanga ni songo ya kha sunkops vha doni vhulayela bola khwine ni tshiya kha makhosi hune na dowana game time na dovha hafhu na regular kha bafana bafana
Soccer Critic ( Tivanl )
posted: 12:09 pm
S'javo: 2011-05-10 12:01
Wish I cud read what u wrote there...
Soccer Critic ( Tivanl )
posted: 12:11 pm
SO much for marketing a player ne!!
posted: 12:16 pm
Ok Sjavo great advice for Lion-head although I dont think playing for any team, esp Makhosi, will make him a regular at Bafana. Other than that useless story
posted: 12:17 pm
dnt go 2 big teams here in gauteng cos u wil warm the bench nd after ur contract u wil play in nfd. all the best
posted: 12:18 pm
come on Celtics,you never win any silver ware,you never in the final of evry cup,and never even fight for the league instead you fight
for relagation,if this boy is the real thing it means he is bigger than seltics,so he must move on,or esle he will turn 30 years and still dreams of going overseas like Sangweni,Bongani went to Spurs coz they won the league 3 times and was palying for bafanabafana,so how many scouts will likely come and watch celtics games,3rd of their games are not televised while 90%of sundowns,chiefs,and pirates games are televised,
Bobby please go and laon money from the loan sharks and take this boy
posted: 12:18 pm
My boy there is no way you will compete with three or five players @ the Glamour Boys.....Chiefs must get You or Morgan Goud and i've already spoken to Morgan and Chiefs Management about this!
posted: 12:24 pm
Hahaha Fistos, wa mpolaya Sanie.
Mr. Knowit All
posted: 12:36 pm
Let this young man develop at U23 level. There is such a large pool of talent at this level already playing regular football which is a true testimony that although football development is generaly poor, talent is plenty. The only way we can gauge how good our best talent are, is by selecting the best of the best and compete against countries with reputable development structures and proven international success, such as, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Netherlands and Germany, etc.
Below are two generations of players elegible for U23 level.
G6 Generation (1985-89):
Darren Keet - Kgotso Moleko, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Thami Sangweni, Sibusiso Khumalo - Sameegh Doutie, Michael Morton, George Maluleka, Mandla Masango - May Mahlangu - Bongane Ndulula.
G7 Generation (1990-94):
Brilliant Khuzwayo, Doctor Mampuru*, Erick Mothoho, Siyanda Xulu, Keaghan Ritchie - Daylon Claasen, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Andile Jali, Masibusane Zongo* - Thulani Serero - Kermit Erasmus
Sage Lottering - Kahlego Pule, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Ramahlwe Mphahlela, Enrico Adolph - Asive Langwa, Kulegani Madondo, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Jabulani Ncubeni - Auguston Leonard, Bhongowethu Jayiya.
Bloggers please care to share your thoughts. Thnx!
posted: 12:36 pm
Molomowanadau mathoooohoo!
posted: 12:38 pm
This man is our next Lucas Radebe. He has a bright future ahead of him. Keep ur head up Mulomo wa ndau Mathoho.
Mriyo (B2B Trebble Champs not a fluke double)
posted: 12:42 pm
doesnt luk gud wearin thoz green colours n wont luk gud in yellow either,u r a black man n u need a black team which wil bring out the white in u,up the Bucs.
posted: 12:44 pm
Timitayol: 2011-05-10 12:38
we've heard that before. remember nhlanhla khubeka?
posted: 12:48 pm
Come to the PSL champions - Mighty Bucs Mathoho,,,you'll be soon be a crowd favorite in that famous black & white jersey.

Chimps are broke & they'll put you on the bench without explanations.

Don Archie
posted: 01:03 pm
he could be headed overseas if the ‘big three’ do not snatch him up.

Dirty tricks to market a player.
Nrb Baloyi
posted: 01:09 pm
Mulomowandau, Nikhou tamba bola zwavhudi Murathu. Noimelela Tshiombo, Matangari na Venda kana Limpopo lothe. Ndi a tenda ni nga tambela team inwe nainwe na henea mahulu a sowto na overseas tshifhinga tshinwe na tshinwe nga attittude yanu. Ni farelele murathu. Ri ni tamela mashudu mavhuya.

Nrb Baloyi, From Tshitavha Sambandou.
posted: 01:15 pm

Nrb77: nawe man!!!!!! nx are you saying few people must read your post, This is a racial stunt
posted: 01:23 pm

Celtics has declared their interest in Duku-duku and they are very happy with Siphelele and Chenene, now Dr Khoza can negoatiate a swap deal for this Warrior The tornado himself.

Plus Gert had an amazing season in Bloem, so we might gooi Gert in the mix.

You better love Dr Khoza's way of negotiating
Don Archie
posted: 01:44 pm
Comment from New24 Arcticle: SAFA poised to score own goal

msimeki - 1 hour ago
Report comment
I say just translate the name to Venda. 'Vhafana Vafana'...It'll sound the same but spelled differently.1 of our 11 languages. :-D

I agree with the guy, Nematendani will take pride in the name since he's venda.

posted: 01:55 pm
@sean: 2011-05-10 12:44
I think u are rite, we have indeed heard this before. Bt lets give him some hope anyway.
Mfundisi One-Skipper Bakaniya
posted: 02:03 pm
Nisongo vhuya naya kha Kaizer shit, iyani kha PIRATES nido tamba bola na diphina
posted: 02:04 pm
ja. Mathoho its a good player. He deserve 2 b the bafana bafana squad 2 play agains tanzania. He is in the good shape. Hope 2 c him in the first 11. But what he must knw is dat 2 b a hero u have 2 join downs,bucs,khosi or ajax.
posted: 02:07 pm
Mulomowandau, ni song vhuya na ya kha chips or sunkops, bucs will be the best home for you, plus lekgwathi is retiring. We love you boy, keep it up.
posted: 02:15 pm
Mighty Buccaneers will win the PSL championship...mark my words.

Buccaneer all da way...Day and night, 24/7.


posted: 02:23 pm
"...he could be headed overseas if the ‘big three’ do not snatch him up.....". Pathetic statement. Nxa.
posted: 02:47 pm
Hai Kickoff, they chosen the ugliest photo of this guy.
Joe Mase...
posted: 05:52 pm
hela yalo sani!!
posted: 06:18 pm
This is talent in the making for Thohoyandou, Limpopo and the country, SA.
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