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Tlotlego “MACHESA” Pitso

How did the move to Sundowns materialise, considering the fact that you come deep from the semi rural area
of Pampierstad?
Well strangely enough, I received a call from my Mom telling me that Sundowns is interested in me, then they (Sundowns) invited me to their football club, I thought that I was going in for trials, but when I got there I was introduced as a fellow team member and I was like maybe I didn’t hear them correctly because it was even before they saw me playing, but anyway I was so excited meeting all those big name coaches and being at the Mamelodi Sundowns club house. Then I was busy taking pictures and one of the coaches came to me and asked me what I was doing and said to me ‘relax this is your new home now, you are going to be here every day so there is no need for you to take pictures’’ that’s when it really hit me that I really am one of them, it was so funny actually man *laughs*

Take us through your football journey, where it all started for you.
I started playing at an early age, I remember very well that I together with my brother used to play soccer with our neighbours from morning till the late hours, We then started school and both played for the school team and later joined Junior Tigers the very same team that my friend used to play as he was a bit older than us therefore I also regard him as my brother.

You come from the family of soccer stars it seems?
I can’t deny that “yes” my mother says I took it from my late father who was passionate about soccer and you will also recall that my brother is also playing soccer, so in a nutshell it’s in the family and I wish it could pass to the next generations *laughs*

Who are some of the people who contributed to your football success?
I made it through a number of people that saw my dedication and hard work and they believed in me and my talent, they made it possible for me to be exposed to the right people Coach Moya, Coach Mamoeng, Coach Sabu ,Coach Baleseng(all at Junior Tigers Fc),Coach Franco and Coach Neels who was also my Teacher at Kimberley Technical High School Academy) just to mention a few and I must say that my brother also contributed tremendously.

We wanted this interview to be all about you, but we picked up that your mother’s name is mentioned in every sentence you say, share with us what we are missing
My mother has been there for me through thick and thin, after I lost my father she is the one who picked my scattered pieces and made me whole again ( emotional sigh) she is my rock and if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am today. She raised me as a single parent, but I have never felt the gap dad left in our lives. I really owe this blessing of playing for one of the biggest teams in Africa to Boingotlo Pitso.

Take us through the Sundowns camp
We are a family here and I was welcomed with warm arms, firstly when I arrived I was a bit shaky but my fellow teammates made it easy for me, so I adapted quickly to the environment. We are all friends and very close, I can proudly say that we are one big happy family. As like any other professional player the only challenge I am faced with is the fact that I am very far from home and I do miss my family and friends.

How is like playing for a huge club like Sundowns?
It comes with an immense pressure I must say, away from the glitz and glamour you have to stay focused and fight for the jersey, mind due that there are millions of young players who awaits the opportunity to play for this team. Once you get on the field you have to make sure that you do what you were recruited for.

The last time we checked on you had already played 6 games and scored 11 goals, clearly you are living up to exceptions
I am glad that I am living up to expectations, with that being the case I try by all means that I don’t put myself under unnecessary pressure, I take each game as it comes.

As much as you are a good player, you also talk high of education, how do you balance the demanding sport and your study time?
I have a schedule: 07h00 in the morning I go to school, after school I go straight to training and finishes at 16h00, 18h00 is my supper time and from 19h00 to 21h00 is study time and go to bed at 21h00, It not a problem at all as I am a disciplined person.

Have you met with the Club chairman already?
*Laughs* well as you know the Chairman is a busy person, but it is just a matter of time before I meet him in person.

How is the transition from a local football player to the level that you are playing now?
I am now being trained by professionals and well known coaches, I have a personal physiotherapist, we have high quality training equipment even the soccer ground is having grass but at the end of the day soccer is soccer whether you play on the dusty roads or wherever, you still get the same satisfaction. Those challenges are the ones that makes you pursue your dream of being a professional player and those dusty roads or fields is where we all started learning how to play soccer and they have made us who we are today

You are a product of street football like many who turned into pro’s, what do you think about football locally, do you think and believe that we are on the right track and we have what it takes to take on the bigger stage of football?
Yes definitely we are on the right track, I mean look at me I was not so long ago playing the same level of football and here am I got the opportunity to play in the Mamelodi Sundowns development academy and I think others can also make it too from the local football so yes like you say I take off my hat for Phokwane Local Football Association.

How did the name Chesa come about?
I attained the name from my previous team, and the name was given to me by Coach (Sabu) at Tigers, even though I can’t say what the name means or what influenced it (laughs). To be honest I had two names the other one was “Cheeseboy Mokoena”

You must have been a special player to have been named after Cheeseboy man as we both know what a quality and skilful player he is.

I guess I was and I still am and yeah I thank my coach also for the name because it made me work extra hard to uphold to the name and to give it respect that the name came with, surprisingly I happen to play for the same team with the real Cheeseboy Mokoena, just different divisions *laughs*

What is your word of motivation to your peers also wishing to make it in life like you did?
They should just keep believing in their dreams and push hard to reach them I mean anything is possible the sky is the limit, Don’t be afraid to dream for everything begins with a dream.

We are proud of you and don’t let the city lights to change you into something you are not, keep in mind that a lot will be said about you and other media houses will make follows up’s on this article, we don’t wish to read negative stuff about you in the papers.
I came here with a vision and a dream, even though I can make it to the first team of Sundowns I will remain the very same humble boy who hails from the dusty streets of Pampierstad and I will keep on working hard. Thanks a lot for doing this interview with me and I would like to believe that you beat other media houses to get this exclusive *laughs*