Pirates youngster distracted by fame

Sfundo Nkosi of AmaZulu challenged by Augustine Mahlonoko of Orlando Pirates during the Multichoice Discki Challenge 2018/19 match between AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates at the Hammersdale Stadium (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Playing for a top football team comes with the glitz and the glamour, but when one can’t handle all the fame, everything will soon fade away.

It might seem like things have gone through that route for Orlando Pirates teenager Augustine Mahlonoko, who got promoted to the first team last year in August after impressing the senior team coaches during the Pirates development team ProjectX tour in Brazil.

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With the spotlight on him and still at school, the 18-year old revealed it all became too hard for him, which led to him losing focus on both school and his football career.

“I think they promoted a right player but at the wrong time, because back then I was in Grade 11. So, I had to choose between football and education and the thing is, I always dreamt of playing for Orlando Pirates, it was my dream. So when the chance came, I had to choose between school and football,” said the midfielder.

“I lost a lot of focus in terms of fame, these things happen. But I still hope that I can go back to the first team and rectify my mistakes – everything I did and be a regular player there.”

“I was [16-years-old] and everyone will come up to me and tell me that they saw me on TV when I was at school. So, in my head, I was like ‘I made it’ and forgot to work hard. I concentrated more on fame than putting in the work. Overall, I can just say that I didn’t give my best and I know that I am a quality player, I can say that I was just being arrogant.”

Mahlonoko has since been demoted to Pirates development team called Pele-Pele FC playing in the ABC Motsepe League. He is eager to get back to the first team and is looking to go back to school after dropping out last year.

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