Southampton youngster Siph Mdlalose accepts invitation to play for South Africa
Posted: 29 June 2017 Time: 09:12
KickOff.com can reveal that South African youngster Siph Mdlalose has accepted an invitation to play for the country at the Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament next month.
The South African Football Association will again enter an Under-19 side in the competition under coach Thabo Senong, and Southampton academy product Mdlalose will take part.
Durban-born Mdlalose, who plays as an attacking midfielder, featured in the March 2017 edition of KICK OFF magazine, where he explained his South African roots and spoke of his strong desire to represent the country over adopted home England in honour of his mother, Zimbini, who passed away two years ago.
“I want to keep playing football for her, to honour my mother,” Mdlalose told KICK OFF. “That is what drives me on in the game and is something I constantly think about.
“It’s also why, if I am ever fortunate enough to get the opportunity, I would choose to play for South Africa [over England]. It would be for very personal reasons, because I feel like I owe South Africa something for making me the person that I am.
“My mum means a lot to me and I would love to represent South Africa, at any age-group level, for her. It is a big goal of mine, something that I am passionate about.”
Mdlalose left South Africa with his family at the age of five, and in the last few years has been making steady progress through the academy at Southampton, where the 18-year-old has already turned out for the Under-23 team that plays in the English Premier League Reserve competition.
The Durban Under-19 International Football Tournament will be staged from 27 July to 5 August, and will feature the junior sides from Portuguese giants Benfica and Brazilian outfit Flamengo as well as Spanish club Deportivo de la Coruna, among others.