Sundowns forward Makgalwa open to NFD loan if he is not promoted

Masandawana youngster Makgalwa eyes promotion into the first team at Chloorkop ahead of the new season

Mamelodi Sundowns’ attacker Keletso Makgalwa has risen through the ranks at Chloorkop, and after guiding the team to MultiChoice Diski Challenge success over the past season, he is keen to take the next big step in his career.

The 20-year-old who recently travelled with the South Africa U-20 team to the Fifa U-20 World Cup in South Korea has received much praise for his performances, so much so that he has been likened to Masandawana’s talisman Khama Billiat. But despite such praise, he is unfazed by the hype over his talents.

“I and Khama (Billiat) play more or less the same type of football‚” Makgalwa told The Times.

“He is at the top and I am still coming up. I can be better than him at some stage. This isn’t arrogance speaking but the drive of where I want to be.

"Khama is my idol and I want to achieve some of the things that he has achieved. That’s why I have set myself a target of doing better than him.

"If I fall short‚ and achieve what he achieved‚ I would have done well and would be in good company. He is my role model. I watch the first team train now and then because that’s where I want to be,” Makgalwa added.

Nonetheless, while Makgalwa is keen to break into the first team at Sundowns, he has admitted that if the opportunity does not arise this season, he would love to go out on load to a National First Division (NFD) club and follow in the footsteps of Percy Tau and Motjeka Madisha, who both spent time in the lower leagues before entering the first team fray.

“The NFD is a tough league‚” Makgalwa said.

“The people who are playing there have big hearts. If I don’t get promoted to the Sundowns’ first team‚ I would love to go to the first division to get game time and see where I am so that I can improve.

“Percy grew in his time there and he came back and did the job for the first team upon his promotion.

"Madisha and Percy are a great inspiration for us. They were playing with me in the MDC not so long ago‚ now they are doing well in the first team and they are also African champions,” he expressed.

Meanwhile, the youngster has spoken glowingly of Sundowns’ head coach Pitso Mosimane.

“It will take a lot of hard work for me to get to the first team‚” Makgalwa said.

“I also need to score goals because coach Pitso Mosimane wants attackers who score goals.

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"For me coach Pitso is the best coach in Africa. He works hard at training and if he believes in you‚ he will constantly shout at you so that you can reach the level he wants you to be at.

"Percy didn’t score much before he worked with coach Pitso and now he scores regularly,” he concluded.