Sweden-based Mihlali Mayambela hopes he will have an even better year than the last
Posted: 23 January 2018 Time: 14:30
It takes a lot of courage for a young player to stick it out in Europe during the difficult times and Mihlali Mayambela seems to be doing that quite well in Sweden.
The 21-year-old, who is the younger brother of Chippa United winger Mark Mayambela, is currently in Cape Town for a pre-season camp with his Swedish club Djurgardens, after returning from a successful loan spell with second-tier outfit Degerfors.
At Degerfors, Mayambela made 33 appearances in all competitions, scoring eight times and providing five assists. He is hoping for an even better year having returned to his parent club, but he’s not quite sure if he will stay on or go out on loan again. The new league season in Sweden kicks off next month.
“It’s my third year in Sweden. It’s been really good but it has not been an easy journey. I had to grind and work hard,” he tells KickOff.com.
“Obviously leaving my family was the most difficult part. It’s something that you can never get used to, it’s difficult. But here I am soldiering on. I am focusing on the upcoming season. The cup games are starting next month and the league starts in April.
“I hope for the same season that I had last year or maybe even better. It might be here [at Djurgardens] or somewhere else, but I just want to have a good season. I have a contract with them, so obviously I had to go back to them [when the loan spell ended]. There is a long [transfer] window, so they will decide where I play.”
Mayambela never got to play in the PSL in South Africa, so making the move from the National First Division to Europe was a big step and it meant he had a lot of catching up to do. While many players in Europe are developed in academies from a young age, Mayambela had to work extra hard and he's proven that he can compete in that part of the world.
With more time, he could make a move to an even bigger league in Europe. He's certainly got the talent.
“I went on loan to go get more game-time. I never played professionally in the top league in South Africa. I did not get so much experience and I went straight to Europe. When I got there I needed time to adjust, so last year I decided I needed to go out on loan and it helped me on and off the field. It has a played a huge role,” says Mayambela, who looks up to his older brother.