Durban — Mamelodi Sundowns defender Grant Kekana has been impressed with the level of quality shown by the club’s youngsters as they step up their preparations ahead of the second half of the season.
The Brazilians are currently hard at work in Polokwane, preparing to defend their trophies from worthy challengers.
Masandawana have placed great emphasis on acquiring a strong enough squad to sustain their trophy challenge on both domestic and continental fronts, and have added a couple of academy products to their squad for the season.
Kekana, who has been one of the best players at Chloorkop in recent years, is happy with the level at which the youngsters are operating.
“The youngsters are showing a lot of quality and a lot of desire, and they’re willing to work hard, which is the mentality that’s needed to succeed here at Sundowns,” he said.
“We have a good group of youngsters at the moment who just need a little bit of guidance for them to perform on the big stages.”
One of brightest lights out of the Sundowns reserve side is the explosive Cassius Mailula, who lit up the league before the World Cup break.
The 21-year-old broke onto the scene with three goals in his first four top-flight matches, with his best performance coming in a 5-0 demolition of Maritzburg United.
Kekana believes Mailula has set the benchmark for the upcoming generation, and will continue to flourish if he continues to work hard.
“We have already seen it this season with Cassius. He has been doing very well for the club, and is setting a good example for the rest of the youngsters,” Kekana explained.
“We just have to keep motivating them, so they can use their chance when it eventually comes.”
Kekana, now 30, believes it is of great importance that the senior players embed a winning culture into their young potential successors as soon as possible.
“Youngsters need to be reminded what it takes to win titles, going for that extra run, and it’s our responsibility to keep reminding them until it becomes second nature to them.”