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Orlando Pirates defender Gumede relishes U-23 challenge

Posted: 10 March 2015 Time: 14:54

Orlando Pirates defender Mbongeni Gumede believes he has a big contribution to make in the new national U-23 squad that was revealed today.

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The right-back was named in Owen da Gama’s 23-man squad, and having captained the South Africa U-20 side in the past, the 21-year-old feels he is in a good position to help guide the team.

“Succeeding at this level is not easy. You need character, discipline and you must work hard so bringing the experience that I have from the U-20s will have a good impact on the team,” he reckons.

Gumede, who made three appearances for Bucs last season including two starts, further says that performing well for the U-23s will improve his chances of playing on a regular basis for Pirates’ first team.

“I think so, because playing on the international stage is better than playing friendlies… It is a big challenge for me competing with Happy Jele, but the coach [Eric Tinkler] has encouraged me to work hard. I am working hard,” he adds.

Gumede, who was loaned to Sivutsa Stars in 2011 and became their captain at just 17 years old, was a regular in Bucs’ Multichoice Diski Challenge team. He has not played for the senior side this season.

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