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Mondli Cele on Bafana Bafana call up

Posted: 19 December 2014 Time: 16:02

Mondli Cele has gone from playing third-tier football with Gamalakhe United on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast to a Bafana Bafana call-up in a little more than six months.

After impressing in a Nedbank Cup game against NFD outfit Santos last season, Cele caught the eye of Maritzburg United coach Steve Komphela.

He signed with Maritzburg at the start of the 2014/15 PSL season, has played all 16 League games for them since, and on Thursday was the surprise inclusion in coach Shakes Mashaba’s provisional 34 man squad that will do battle at next year’s Afcon in Equatorial Guinea.

ALSO READ: Analysing Shakes' preliminary squad

“I know that I am old; I used to tell my teammates that at Gamalakhe all the time,” Cele says. “But if you love something then you keep trying. I always kept the faith.”

The 25-year-old winger has been instrumental in Maritzburg’s success so far this season with his pace, work-rate, strength and skill all contributing towards what has been the most successful season of his career.

“Even my mom told me that I was too old now and that I should give up on football,” adds Cele. “I spoke to her on the phone [on Thursday] and she couldn’t talk because she was crying.”

There is a good chance that Cele won’t go to Afcon, given that the squad will be trimmed down to 23 after a five-day training camp in Johannesburg beginning on December 26. But this is an achievement in itself and, given the year he has had, there is no reason for Cele to give up now.

“I have been playing well and this has been a very good season for me,” he says. “But now I need to keep working hard so that I can impress coach [Shakes] Mashaba.”

Livefyre comments on this story...

Sbu Webhakabhaka
posted: 2014-12-19 14:11:59

Good player and I hope he'll continue working hard.

posted: 2014-12-19 14:12:27

only if he was south african

posted: 2014-12-19 14:18:02

I am very proud of this man . He is from South Coast and this where I grew up . He is following footsteps of Bonga Shusha ,Lesley Langa and Chris Mpisi . Well done mfana and keep it up and for me if u are 25 u are not old , u still have a long way ahead of u .

ketshaba KBY (love bade me welcome)
posted: 2014-12-19 14:30:05

People you mentioned are they sangomas

posted: 2014-12-19 14:30:46

He's been one of the best players at Maritzburg United this season. I don't see him staying at Maritzburg for long

posted: 2014-12-19 14:34:30

When did u start following SA football? Maybe usemncane baba , Bonga Shusha played for Amazulu in da 90's , Lesley Langa played for Chiefs , Arrows , Chris Mpisi played for Crystal Brains ( Michau Warriors )

ketshaba KBY (love bade me welcome)
posted: 2014-12-19 14:36:38

Ohk fair enough.thnx for highliting a brother here bra

posted: 2014-12-19 14:38:29

ketshaba KBY Ha ha ha ha, No Ketshaba, they are Hyenas!!! KILLA!!!

posted: 2014-12-19 14:40:15

Lesley Langa last game at Chiefs was in da United Bank Challenge , he tried to drible Daniel Mudau despossed him and scored and Chiefs lost 3-0

ketshaba KBY (love bade me welcome)
posted: 2014-12-19 14:40:44

Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk.that's what I thought in the first place

ketshaba KBY (love bade me welcome)
posted: 2014-12-19 14:42:46

He was that good?

posted: 2014-12-19 14:46:01

He was just a player like any other player but he used to score own goals lol

ketshaba KBY (love bade me welcome)
posted: 2014-12-19 14:51:21

Looool.ntate wa ntshegisa maan

Ayidle Izishiyele!!!
posted: 2014-12-19 14:56:59

Kuphi ne 039 ntwana yami..... We all proud of Dubandlela!

posted: 2014-12-19 14:57:03

SisterP where is he from SisterP?

The real VIPER(Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed
posted: 2014-12-19 15:46:07

You must be a dinosaur ndoda if you were already old on those years when Amazulu were still regarded as the big soccer team in SA football

posted: 2014-12-19 16:05:34

hyenas Bonga Shusha was a good player, Leslie Langa was very bad player yho, that man used to get red cards and score lot of own goals for Chiefs and African Wanderers... the nice thing is you are producing players.

My area Bushbuckridge does not produce any players anymore but hey we have had few, the likes of David Nyathi, Russel "Romario"Molefe, Michael Manzini, Katlego Mashego (Sundowns), James Mayinga and while our neighbors Matibidi produced Surprise Moriri

posted: 2014-12-19 16:14:11

Ai shakes no man

posted: 2014-12-19 16:14:45

There are way much better players than him

posted: 2014-12-19 16:16:56

hyenas United Bank Challenge in 1995 yho, I remember Kenny Niemach scoring a brace in that 3-0 win over Chiefs and those were the days, in the final Zane Moosa mesmerized the Leeds United defence before Sundowns beating Leeds 1-0. I just don't remember if Lucas Radebe played in that final

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