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Mayambela – There Were Lots Of Expectations

Mihlali Mayambela says that when he was a youngster in Johannesburg playing for both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs junior teams there was a lot of unneeded pressure on him.

The 24-year-old, is currently playing for Academica, the oldest club in Portugal, where he is on loan from Farense.

While he made his professional debut as a teenager in the NFD with Cape Town All Stars, Mihlali has spent almost all of his career in Europe, playing in Sweden, Portugal and Israel.

When his brother Mark was playing for Pirates, Mihlali moved to Joh’burg and played for junior teams at both Pirates and Chiefs, but he says it wasn’t an easy time, as he was very young, and people would often compare him to his brother.

Mihlali was speaking exclusively to Rob Delport in Edition 10 of iDiski Times.

“My experience in Joburg overall was a bit strange and difficult, and at some point I felt I was misunderstood or compared to my brother, but I’d say there were lot of expectations about me which I felt some were a bit too much”.

“Because I was very young, like 14-15 years, what I went through at Pirates is what I went through at
Chiefs, so I’d say both spells were not so fruitful for me, but yeah, it’s still an experience that I cherish till today, it helps me a lot.”

Mihlali says that as a young boy he never dreamt of playing for the Soweto giants, and was actually a big fan of Bloemfontein Celtic, even before his brother went there.

“Haha, honestly I never dreamt of playing in those jerseys then. I was crazy about Bloem Celtic even before Mark went there. But yeah Chiefs it’s a massive club, maybe in the future yes!”

You can read the full interview in Edition 10 of iDiski Times

Rob Delport
Rob Delport
Rob Delport is a walking football encyclopedia, having been a mainstay in the Cape Town football scene for years. Rob has previously worked for SABC and various websites and publications across Africa, as well as being the South African Head Researcher for Football Manager and doing a similar role occasionally for EA Sports FIFA. Highly respected, Rob is now a senior iDiski Times website and newspaper writer, and is also responsible for the newspaper's editorial.