Maselesele gets first Bafana call
Maselesele gets first Bafana call

Posted in News on Sep 03, 2002.

Not so long ago Kaizer Chiefs midfield sensation Lucky Maselesele was dreaming of wearing the national colours but his dream could soon become a reality following a call to the Bafana Bafana squad to play Paraguay in Iran later this month.

Maselesele - the only Chiefs player for this mission - will be part of the Bafana Bafana team that travels to Iran for a four-nations tournament on September 17 in preparation for the two-legged Cosafa Castle Cup final against Malawi.

Maselesele’s moments of glory from Amakhosi Magazine

A season away from the glitz and glamour of Naturena to the quiet and sublime Durban provide Lucky Sello Maselesele with the perfect opportunity to re-ignite his football career. Not that it needed to be reoriented but the exposure was enough to highlight what the nippy offensive midfielder is made off.

However, his return to the Chiefs Village on the slopes of Naturena did not guarantee an automatic place in the starting 11. Competition was already fierce and he had to join the fight and with each cameo appearance he left a lasting impression albeit not enough to guarantee him a place in the starting team.

His recent eruption - coming from the bench - against archrivals Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Charity Cup certainly left a mark. Maselesele reacted with predatory instincts to punish slack goalkeeping by Williams Okpara to book Amakhosi a place in the final, which they won in penalties.

It was not the first time he had done so. When Chiefs lifted the 2000 Vodacom Challenge it was through an 87th minute goal by the youngster who had just come off the bench. “Coming off the bench to score against a big side like Pirates was very special. It was even sweeter when I did the same in the Charity Cup,” recalls Maselesele.

"I appreciate every little opportunity given to me by the coach and I will always do my best not to disappoint.

"As for my goals against Pirates, it looks like I have some kind of luck against them because I have always performed with the same consistency even while on loan to Seven Stars and Manning Rangers. I have also played well against Sundowns and I guess it’s the thrill of playing against such big clubs that get me going,” he says.

Maselesele played for the national under-17 team where he made his debut in 1994 in the African Youth Championship qualifier against Mozambique in Johannesburg. He last played for the side in 1996 in the Youth Championship qualifier against Angola in Luanda.

In 1999 he graduated to the national under-20 but made only two appearances against Lesotho and Madagascar in the Cosafa Championship.

"It pains me to see some of the youngsters I played with at junior levels making progress while I am not. But I am positive things will change for the better. I take each game as it comes and make the best of it and follow what the coach wants me to do,” he says.

As the new season gets underway, Maselesele appears calm and not bothered by the fact that he could still spend more time on the bench. If anything the Alexandra-based youngsters is more understanding as he patiently awaits his chance. “I am prepared with work even harder to gain a regular place in the squad,” he says.

"Maybe the pressure of being a striker has an effect. Things were different at Rangers because expectations weren’t that high and the amount of pressure was less compared to here. I felt bad for leaving them because they gave me a chance but my heart has always been with Chiefs,” says Maselesele.

Maselesele, an inhabitant of Alexandra along with his mother and sister Lorraine, is highly appreciative of the support he gets from the supporters and team management. “Chiefs is big club and every youngster wants to play for them. I am great to the club for showing faith and keeping me here,” he says.

Such positiveness has been inspired by a conversation he once had with the coach. “I once had a discussion with the coach where I pointed out what I believe are my strengths which is playing facing defenders. I feel more comfortable taking them on as opposed to playing with my back against the opposition as I sometimes battle to make quick turns.

"The coach understand but there are a few things I need to improve in my game like getting more involved in aerial battles," he laughs.

Share this article: