We recently ran a lot of coverage on The Chance, Nike Footballs ultimate talent competition. It was of course the second version of this competition and while two South Africans were in the winning 16 at the completion of the competition, they can now look for inspiration for the previous South African Winner, Reyaad Pieterse. The 20 year old goal keeper, who was a Wits trainee, went on to sign for Shamrock Rovers, the biggest side in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland. Jabu sat with the shot stopper and chatted about all things football
All Things Jabu (ATJ): Hi Reyaad, thanks for the chance to chat, how are you settling in to life in Ireland?
Reyaad Pieterse (RP): I’m enjoying it so far it’s been an amazing experience and learning each and every day.
RP: It was the best feeling and definitely a highlight in my life and a great stepping stone.
ATJ: What were the nerves and tension like in The Chance Final?
RP: My nerves were so bad I always get nervous but I was positive all the time and thanks to Khayalethu (Nzimande), Nazan (Klaasen) and Jonathan (King) cause we helped each other along the way .
ATJ: Winning The Chance gave you a chance to train at the Nike Academy full time, what was that experience like?
RP: It was an amazing experience! I had the great opportunity to play against teams like inter Milan, Arsenal, Celtic and many more! But one experience I’ll never forget is what I’ve learnt in terms of all the different cultures, languages and of course football as well.
RP: Well when I was with them I told them they need to work as a team ,support each other and give the best they can they have come this far and they should not throw this opportunity away learn all the time don’t take anything for granted! Work hard, be disciplined, dictated, determined and believe in themselves and God.
ATJ: What has been the highlight of your time at Shamrock so far?
RP: Well we just won a cup trophy but just learning everyday and improving as much as I can
ATJ: And being at the most well known and largest club in Ireland, do you feel extra pressure?
RP: Yes there’s always pressure no matter where you are but it’s just about surrounding yourself with the right people. These should be positive people! You also have to grab each opportunity you are given .
ATJ: Would you ever consider coming back to South Africa to play?
ATJ: Do you harbour any ambitions to play for Bafana Bafana?
RP: Yes indeed I’d love to represent my country its’ a life-long dream of mine
ATJ: Do you miss South Africa with all the travelling you are doing?
RP: Yes of course there’s no place like home and I miss my family and friends .
ATJ: Who do you support in football?
RP: Manchester United and Kaizer Chiefs
ATJ: Where can our readers follow you more?
ATJ: Thanks so much for the chat! Good luck for the season ahead!