Phakamani Mahlambi aims for place in Olympic squad with move to AmaZulu
The urge to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year played a significant role in the decision of under-23 star midfielder Phakamani Mahlambi going out on a season-long loan to AmaZulu.
Mahlambi, who hasn’t played much football over the past three seasons for Al Ahly and Mamelodi Sundowns, joined ambitious Usuthu this week in a move that is aimed at reviving a career that has hit the skids.
If he gets back on track, Mahlambi together with the likes of Jamie Webber, Tercious Malepe, Sifiso Ngobeni, Lyle Foster, Fagrie Lakay and Zakhele Lepasa are likely to be part of coach David Notoane’s squad for the Tokyo games.
“It is clear to me that I wasn’t going to play at Sundowns and I wasn’t going to be selected for the national team,” said the 23-year-old Mahlambi when he explained his loan move to Durban.
“I had to find a way of getting game time so that the national team coach can be able to select me again. I am still young and I need to play football and getting game time is the most important thing for me.”
Mahlambi added that he is hoping to learn from veteran midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala and coach Ayanda Dlamini whom he grew up following.
“AmaZulu have good quality players and some of them are guys that I grew up watching. It will be a pleasure to work with them and hopefully they will help me out to reach my full potential. I want to help AmaZulu to win trophies and finish in the top four.
“I had a conversation with coach Manqoba [Mngqithi] at Sundowns and he explained everything to me so that I understand. It was my intention to leave the club, to go and play football so that I get back to the Phakamani that people know.”