Kaizer Chiefs U-17 coach, Tshidisio Letsholonyane, has given his backing to Kaizer Chiefs’ U-17 starlet, Vicky Mkhawana, following his impressive performances for the South African national U-17 team at the CAF U17 Cup of Nations in Algeria. The 17-year- old was the star of the show for Amajimbos in a 3-2 win over Zambia in their last group game, and Letsholonyane is holding thumbs that the Chiefs youngster can deliver the goods again in South Africa ’s final Group B showdown against Nigeria in Constantine on Saturday evening.
“He came on as a substitute against Morocco in the first game and he did not have enough time to make an impact,” Letsholonyane noted, before adding, “Against Zambia he started the game and showed great character and personality. He had a good attitude from the start, he was very aggressive and disturbed the Zambian defence.”
Mkhawana opened the scoring in the must- win fixture against Zambia on Wednesday, going on to net a brace in the 3-2 win, Letsholonyane believes there is still more to come from him in the tournament. Of this he said, “I expect we will see more of him at the tournament. Vicky is a very versatile player. Naturally he plays as a midfielder and I think coach Duncan Crowie has seen different qualities in him, that he possesses.”
The Chiefs development mentor continued, “Against Nigeria, I think he will compete well against them physically. Then, it will be up to the coach how he approaches the game tactically and how Vicky adjusts to his tactical set-up. He is confident, though. After the Zambia game, I managed to speak to him and he is looking to do well in the tournament.”
Chiefs also have Takalani Mazhamba in the South Africa team and Letsholonyane is hopeful he will also get some game time.
“Takalani has been the reserve goalkeeper. He has not played any minutes yet but hopefully he will feature in the knockout rounds.”
In conclusion, Letsholonyane heaped further praise on Mkhawana lauding, “Vicky went to the tournament wanting to do well. He has had a good attitude, which has helped him. Seeing him, and the way he has performed, is good for the entire club because he has represented us so well. He is giving a lot of players in the academy hope and inspiration that they can also represent their country.”
South Africa U-17 will progress to the quarterfinals with a win although a draw could be enough, depending on the result between Morocco - who have already qualified for the next round - and Zambia.