Mdlalose looks to emulate So'ton stars

The 18-year-old attacker yesterday signed a pro-contract with English Premier League side Southampton having been in their youth system for the past seven years.

The club is world renowned for producing superb players with current stars Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana all Southampton academy products.

Mdlalose feels he is perfectly positioned to go on and emulate the big names that have walked the same path he is.

"Of course I want to make my mother proud and we buried her few a years ago and I flew back [from SA to England] to obviously start to concentrate on my footballer," Mdlalose tells from the south of England.

"But, as a footballer now, you want to do better than what you have done last year. I feel I'm at the right place at Southampton because it gives young players the chance to express themselves and Southampton is taking good care of me.

"You get told where you are and what to improve on, and I feel Southampton is the club to develop as a player and as the person."

Mdlalose has been called up for SA Under-19 side that will compete at the Durban International tournament taking place later this month in Durban.

Thabo Senong, in charge of the squad having missed out on last year's event with David Notoane at the helm, has been in touch with Mdlalose and the youngster is eager to display his talent at the tournament.

"Yes, I'm aware that I'm called up and we have been in contact with SAFA and we just waiting for the paperwork to go through," he reveals.

"I have been in contact with the coach [Thabo Senong] and he has shown interest in me. Playing for the national team is a big step regardless of what age group it is and I want to put my stamp on the national side.

"Every kid wants to play for the national team at some stage and I'm lucky to be called up."