Football

Keletso The Graduate

He is quick on his feet, stocky and scores beautiful goals – makes sense then that Keletso Makgalwa is nicknamed ‘Aguero’.

Much like Percy Tau, the 23-year-old is another success story to come out of the Mamelodi Sundowns youth development structure, earning praise from coach Pitso Mosimane, especially after returning from a long term ankle injury last year to score the winner in our Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash away to Highlands Park in March.

Following his promotion to the senior team during the 2016/17 season, Makgalwa had to bide his time before he was thrown in at the deep end two years ago in our 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in an Absa Premiership game watched by a strong 13 000 crowd.

That debut for Sundowns came six days after his 21st birthday, but the youngster has learnt to trust the process.

“Since the inception of my football career I’ve come to learn that it is important to respect the process, and my time at the sundowns development is testament to that. Now having made it to the first team my journey continues.”

Since then, ‘Aguero’ has made 17 more appearances for the club, scoring three goals, and like Tau, the youngster has also been out on loan.

Makgalwa returned from Maritzburg United ready to fight and convince the technical team that he can shoulder the responsibility that comes with being a Sundowns striker – growing up at the club in the youth ranks, he would have heard and seen just what it takes to lead the line for Masandawana. Daniel ‘Mambush’ Mudau and Peter Ndlovu are on hand to give worthy advice as the two forwards of yesteryears.

When he did finally get to score his first goal in the yellow and blue jersey, it was a thing of beauty: a little mazy run with two minutes on the clock in our MTN8 cup fixture at home against Bloemfontein Celtic to make it a convincing 3-1 victory.

He loves a cup tie, scoring with a cheeky toe-poke to guarantee we were on our way to the semi-finals.

“Scoring a few goals in the games i’ve featured in and contributing to the team qualifying for the Nedbank Cup final, are some of my most memorable moments.”

“I know moving forward it is not going to be easy and i’ll make a few mistakes but it’s all a part of how we learn. Never ever forget to respect the process and for sure your journey will be fruitful.”

In February this year, Makgalwa made the preliminary Olympic Games squad for the Tokyo event, which has shifted to 2021 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

But it’s another major milestone for the Limpopo born striker, who only a few months ago was undergoing rehabilitation on his ankle and missing plenty of football action and crucial qualifiers for these Olympic Games.

‘Aguero’ has graduated…

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