Mamelodi Sundowns have decided to promote academy graduate Sphelele Mkhulise following his two loan spells in the National First Division.
Coach Pitso Mosimane officially introduced Mkhulise as a first team player at the club’s Absa Premiership trophy parade at vehicle partners Hyundai’s headquarters on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old right winger had spent the last two campaigns on loan at Black Leopards and Richards Bay FC, where he managed to show enough potential to impress Mosimane.
Mkhulise becomes the sixth player to have been brought up from the club’s youth structures in recent seasons, following in the footsteps of the likes of Percy Tau, Motjeka Madisha and Keletso Makgalwa.
“Mkhulise spent two years on loan in the NFD. I think it’s his time. Keletso had a chance; Madisha had a chance; Percy had a chance; it’s his chance now,” Mosimane tells our source.
“He’s a good football player. We also have to try and promote younger ones from the academy, because if we don’t then we don’t give them any hope.”
Meanwhile, another rising star who was also introduced on Tuesday is winger Katlego Otladisa, who signed from Platinum Stars in the January transfer window.
Mosimane has backed the 21-year-old to come good following his injury and believes he is of a similar mould to experienced Liberian international Anthony Laffor.
“Otladisa is another youngster with enough time. He’s the understudy of players like Laffor,” ‘Jingles’ adds.
“We always have to back-up. Okay, Platinum Stars got relegated and it’s good we have him now, but he’s got the speed, technique, he’s willing to learn, and his future is bright.”
The Brazilians are set to resume their CAF Champions League group stage campaign in less than two weeks, with a trip to AS Togo-Port on July 17.