IN TOUCH WITH: BONGOKUHLE HLONGWANE
20 April 2020
Bongokuhle Hlongwane is the latest in a steady stream of Maritzburg United developmental players who have made a positive impact in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
After coming through the ranks of Maritzburg's Multichoice Diski Challenge (MDC) team, the Nxamalala, Pietermaritzburg-born striker made his Absa Premiership debut last year April against Orlando Pirates at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
His first goal for the club arrived a couple of months later - a crucial strike in the playoffs against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhadila.
Still only 19, the powerfully-built forward has progressed very nicely this season, featuring in eight league matches and one cup game. And if it wasn't for the outstanding form of Judas Moseamedi and Thabiso Kutumela, Hlongwane could well have played even more.
But he's certainly shown what he can do and has given head coach Eric Tinkler another fantastic option up front. In the Team of Choice's second last game before the season was halted, he displayed exactly what he's capable of with an outstanding brace in a 3-0 win over Stellenbosch FC.
The timing of the coronavirus-induced lockdown was not great for a player who was just settling into his stride. But Bongokuhle is doing his best to keep fit at home - here's what he's been up to:
MUFC: Where are you spending the lockdown?
Bongokuhle Hlongwane (BH): At home in Pietermaritzburg
MUFC: How are you keeping busy?
BH: I wake up in the morning and do workouts I got from Burger [van der Merwe, Maritzburg physio].
MUFC: Who is the person you are most in contact with during the lockdown and how do you guys chat?
BH: Coach [Vincent] Kobola and Lungelo (MDC player). Coach always encourages me to follow the team program we got from Burger.
MUFC: Have you ever imagined life without football? And what would you have done for a career had you not been a footballer?
BH: Other than being a footballer I would have done Sports Management.
MUFC: Are there any games/ movies/ series/ books that you can recommend?
BH:We usually play Snake dice with my family. I’m not a TV fan but I used to watch Step Up and John Wick.
MUFC: Looking at the season so far, which was the most impressive result/game for the team?
BH:3-0 against Stellenbosch FC, it was the first time this season for the team to win with 3-0.
MUFC:In which match do you feel you played your best?
BH: The home game against Stellenbosch and the away game against SuperSport United.
MUFC:What was the best goal scored by MUFC this season?
BH:Yusuf Jappie's free kick against Polokwane City.
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