When Tshepiso Mahlangu started out at Kaela football club, he could only have dreamed of his eventual success. He began playing at the club in January of 2012 as a thirteen year old, playing for the football association of Pretoria (FAP) district team where his team missed out narrowly in an inter-district tournament in the final, and developed significantly in his centre midfield role for the club. Under the guidance of a committed coach, a supportive team and a positive environment, Tshepi as he is affectionately known by his Kaela teammates, grew in fitness and strength. Fitness tests revealed Tshepi’s impressive improvements scoring highly on the well-known “beep” and “multi-stage” fitness tests.
Tshepi’s was noticed on many occasions by important people. Sundowns showed their interest in the young midfielder in 2012 in the district tournament but he couldn’t make it past the second round of assessments. Encouraged by this, Kaela backed their player to go even further. During a FAP league encounter, Tshepi impressed again. Playing against Glenweigans, Tshepi evidently stood out to Ricardo Katza (Supersport’s development coach) who later enquired about the young talent. Tshepi then went on to join the Supersport squad in their pre-season trainings and preparations. Supersport academy, interested and excited by the new talent, acquired the young man. Tshepi learnt and grew a great deal during his time with Kaela FC (over a year) and has subsequently played in the future champs tournament for Supersport football club, representing them at the U15 and U17 levels.
Tshepi now plays for Amajimbos, the junior national U17 team. In a recent tour, Tshepi helped his team to secure 2-0 and 1-0 clean-sheet victories over Botswana and Lesotho respectively, playing as a defender. Tshepi represented Amajimbos in Dar es Salaam – the Tanzanian capital – at the U17 African Championship qualifiers. Tshepi’s development into a rock-solid central defender has excited Kaela and the country; we look forward to seeing him representing Bafana Bafana in the future.
Tshepi’s story is a testament to the coaches and atmosphere prized at Kaela FC and the importance of development in the country as a whole. Kaela has served and will continue to serve soccer players and people as long as there is need. We congratulate Tshepiso and wish him well in his continued development into a wonderful soccer player and young man.