Amajimbos left-winger Notha Ngcobo has been part of the U17 National Squad since coach Molefi Nteski took over and will be part of the team to face Golden Arrows Development on Wednesday in his hometown, Durban.
NM: Notha, give me brief background of your football career, and growing up in Umlazi, Durban?
NN: My uncle played football when I was a youngest, he would take me with him to the grounds and I also felt like I should be playing so every time we went home I would cry to my mother saying “I SHOULD HAVE PLAYED”, my uncles was also in charge of the kit which stayed in our house so I didn’t understand why I couldn’t play when I had the kit. At the age of 13 we were told about a man from Mamelodi Sundowns who was coming down to Durban to host trials from the academy who wanted to see us the player who played for Tigers F.C, I remember during the trials they gentlemen didn’t have much time to look at us all, but luckily for me I was seen within the first half of that match alongside with my teammate. After that they took us to Mamelodi, Pretoria and as they say the rest is history.
I actually wasn’t born in Umlazi I was born in Harding but I spent all my holidays in Umlazi, and this assisted me a lot because everyone around there loved football and boys were making a career out of playing. My uncle assisted to ensure that he introduced me to many different people in football who to this day I am grateful for all their help.
NM: You will play Golden Arrows tomorrow and surely many of your childhood friend play there what do you think of this match?
NN: Playing Golden Arrows will assist us very much as we need all the games we can get. It will be great to see players that I grew up and I fell that Arrows is doing great for the communities of KZN, hopefully the technical team will also find more talent for the future when we take on these boys tomorrow.
NM: You guys have qualified for the World Cup later this year, how do you feel about this and are you looking forward to in Chile?
NN: Firstly the thought of going to the World Cup is a feeling I can’t describe, I mean a farm boy like me going to the World Cup at such a young age is just WOW! Secondly I believe the teams that I have played for (Mighty Swallows, Tigers F.C and Mamelodi Sundowns) will be extremely proud of their product; I am also excited about the prospects of the world seeing the talent we have in South Africa. I look forward to improving my game as a soccer player, playing against Chile, Argentina and hopefully knocking Nigeria out of the tournament again. The prospect of being scouted by an international club is also something I can’t hide, I mean image the possibilities that lie before me.
NM: How has the training camp begin so far?
NN: It is wonderful to be back in the national team camp, my teammates and I are like family and I really missed them. Camp has been great as we are getting closer to the tournament, the coaches are ensuring that we reach our highest potential and also move our thinking forward as the World Cup is a very big stage. Coach Molefi Ntseki is moving us back to the mentality that we had ahead of the CAF U17 CAN that we could go out to be exceptional, that was the mentality we had in Niger and the mentality we need going forward.
NM: What aspects of your game have improved since you became a part of the national team set up?
NN: I am very grateful to Coach Molefi Ntseki as the work he has being doing with me has improved my game a lot, at my club I have seen the difference in my game and within the past two years I have been promoted to higher levels because of the growth in my game at national level. I now play with the mentally that I have to win, Coach Ntseki has also taught me to become a versatile player because that gives me an edge over my teammates. My confidence has also grown immensely because of the international tournaments I have been part of, therefore I am able to play to the best of my ability.