Bloem Celtic defender Bongani Sam models his game around Bayern Munich's David Alaba

The former Highlands Park player said that he also looks up to Hlanti, who is one of Bafana's key defenders

Bloemfontein Celtic starlet Bongani Sam has explained why he will forever be grateful to former Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela.

The left-back was a revelation in Phunya Sele Sele's colours last season after being handed his professional debut by Komphela.

Sam, who was nominated for the PSL Young Player of the Season award, discussed how Komphela has helped him thus far in his career.

“Komphela introduced me to the rigours of the PSL,” Sam told Daily Sun.

The 21-year-old continued to enjoy regular game-time after Komphela left Celtic for Lamontville Golden Arrows midway through the campaign.

“He played a big role in helping me develop and gain experience of playing in the PSL," the former Nedbank Cup Ke Yona Team Search graduate continued.

Sam, who made 25 appearances across all competitions for Phunya Sele Sele, disclosed that Bayern Munich left-back David Alaba and Bidvest Wits full-back S’fiso Hlanti are his role models.

"Komphela became a real mentor. I model my game to Bayern Munich’s left-back David Alaba and locally, it’s S’fiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits), because we talk on a regular basis," he added.

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"Coach Steve motivates me," concluded Sam, who joined Celtic from Highlands Park in August 2018. 

Sam's exploits have not gone unnoticed as he has been handed his maiden Bafana Bafana call-up.

The promising player is part of the South Africa squad which will compete in the Cosafa Cup in Durban.