Kaizer Chiefs’ history is defined by players that have come through the junior ranks to emerge as household names and superstars in South African football.
Following hot on the footsteps of Doctor Khumalo, Itumeleng Khune and many others that have come through the development ranks, meet the Pietermaritzburg born 17-year-old Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.
We caught up with the young sensation between his busy schedule of shuttling between the classroom, the training grounds in Naturena and call-ups for South Africa’s junior teams.
Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to chat to us.
Thank you, it’s my pleasure and honour to chat to our own Kaizer Chiefs website.
Tell us, what position do you play?
I am an attacking midfielder. This is the position I grew up playing and I enjoy it very much.
What’s your music preference?
I love house music. But any dance music goes for me.
What about friends?
I have friends both back at home in Pietermaritzburg and here in Johannesburg. They are mainly my teammates and schoolmates.
Your smile is noticeable when you talk about education – where do you attend school?
I attend Orlando High. I am in Grade 12 and so far so good, it is going well. It is important to be educated, as I will need that after football.
That’s encouraging to hear from you at this age…
Yes, my favourite subjects are mathematics, literacy and business studies. I would like to become a top businessman in future. It’s great that we are encouraged at Chiefs’ development to look after our studies.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
That’s definitely my father, Sicelo. He used to be a strong defender, who played amateur football. He always provides me with a lot of guidance.
What’s his main advice?
He constantly reminds me to trust myself, and to do my best when given an opportunity.
Let’s go to the recent Cosafa Under-20 championship in which you played for Amajita. How do you reflect on that?
We beat Lesotho 8-0 in one of the five games we played. I scored in that game. Unfortunately, we lost to Zambia in the final. But it was another great experience in my development as a player.
Nkosingiphile, you were also part of the training camp when South Africa was preparing for the 2017 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations. In the end, you didn’t join the squad to Zambia where the tournament was held.
I was disappointed to miss the cut, but I know my chance will come. I will just work even harder to make it in future.
Any lessons learned from watching the tournament?
We have to concentrate for 90 minutes. Watching the tournament, I saw the commitment and how teams gave their all in the matches.
Amajita qualified for the 2017 U-20 World Cup, which be held from 20 May until 11 June in South Korea. Any thoughts?
It’s really great that we have qualified and I hope that I will get an opportunity to prove myself to join the final Amajita squad that will travel to South Korea.