Orlando Pirates teenage sensation Lebohang Cheezy Mokoena cant believe that he is rubbing shoulders with the best in the Castle Premiership but is acutely aware that he will have to work very hard to stay at the top.
The 17-year-old made his debut in the famed black and white jersey in the Buccaneers recent 2-2 draw with Santos, coming on as a second-half substitute for James Mothibi with the defending league champions trailing the Peoples Team by two goals.
The game is fast proving the teams turning point, with Mokoena at the centre of a revival that has seen Pirates surge back up the league standings to trail archrivals Kaizer Chiefs by a single point.
Speaking in the latest edition of Soccer-Laduma, the Diepkloof-born youngster says:
I feel honoured to be part of the team at my age. I have been longing for this opportunity to come my way all these years.
Now that I have the chance to play I am prepared to die for Orlando Pirates. I grew up supporting the team and I will be a Pirate for life.
Being with the team has really changed my life and I must thank my family for being so supportive of me.
I am aware of the fact that no one is guaranteed a permanent place in the squad so I have to fight for my place.
Mokoena, whose nickname comes from his chiskop or bald head, is also aware that you are only as good as your last game in the eyes of the hard-to-please Ghost.
Although I know its hard to please the Orlando Pirates supporters because they are very difficult, I will try to use my ability and skill to win them over.
I know they are spoilt for good results but if I am given enough chance to settle down and get to know all my teammates, they will see what I can do.
Pirates have a great team but we need the supporters on our side to pull together and achieve success.
Mokoena has been capped at national u/17 and u/20 level.