Chiefs youth product thriving in Europe
Posted: 27 August 2018 Time: 19:30
Kaizer Chiefs youth product Siyanda Mpetwane spoke to KickOff.com about his football adventure in Europe since leaving the Soweto giants.
After arriving at Naturena as a fresh faced 16-year-old Mpetwane made an immediate impression within the youth structures at Amakhosi, showcasing incredible vision and technical ability - despite his diminutive frame.
However, upon being promoted to the side's MultiChoice Diski Challenge side, the now 21-year-old was left frustrated by the lack of opportunities afforded to him and decided to make the hardest choice of his fledgeling career - leaving one of South Africa's biggest clubs.
A short stint at the Nike Academy soon followed before being contacted by Lithuanian outfit FC Džiugas Telšiai in 2017, where Mpetwane delved into the unknown in order to develop his talents abroad.
A year on, the former Chiefs man has become an integral part of the ambitious club after overcoming the early setbacks in his career.
"Going back, I got invited by coach Arthur Zwane for trial, that's how it all started when I was 16," he told KickOff.com. "It was great while it lasted and I wouldn't be the player I am today if it wasn't for Chiefs and coach Arthur.
"What didn't work out, in the end, was, I got promoted to the reserve team but I wasn't playing as much MDC football as I wanted, it was frustrating, so I decided to move on.
"My agent Fabrice Yao sent my profile out before Džiugas invited me for a trial last year, and since I've joined the club, I've become a regular in the starting XI.
"We are currently fifth on the log, six points apart from number one and I'm enjoying my experience.
"I can't really say if it were better to remain and fight for a chance in the PSL, as I only played development football in South Africa, but the physicality and the pace of the game is totally different this side, the players are big and strong."
When pressed about how he's managed to remain professional in a totally different environment in Europe where a number of South African exports are known to struggle, he said: "At first it wasn't easy, but now I feel settled.
"I am staying alone here but I do have two [South African] friends playing in the third division, but they live in another city."
Mpetwane has recorded 14 starts out of a possible 18 this season, scoring once. Check out some of his highlights below: