Being part of the Sundowns Youth Academy is a huge honour for me – Mbonde

Football requires passion, hard work, patience and a lot of sacrifices, one young man who has been using this principle is Riandre Vries. The youngster hails from Heidedal in the Free State, he joined Mamelodi Sundowns after being scouted playing in his home town. He moved to the Youth Academy in 2014 and was only 11 years old.

” When I got here I was very young and I used to cry every day because it wasn’t easy being away from home and I missed home every day and I had a friend of mine who came from the same area as me, that made it easy for me. The academy house parents also played a role in making sure that I settle and mind you when I got here I was the only one who was in primary school”, said Vries.

The Heidedal born is following in the footsteps of the likes of Promise Mkhuma, Keletso Makgalwa, Sphelele Mkhulise to name a few who have been in the same space as the 18-year old. The DStv Diski Challenge recently was suspended with immediate effect and he has put out some sterling performances for the Suprise Moriri coached side.

” I am enjoying my football but there are some areas I feel I need to improve on, such as my body because I have a small body structure and at times that put me at a disadvantage. I remember the first time I was introduced to the Diski level I was 14 years old and that gave me an insight into what I can do. The coaches are also pushing me the right direction and telling me that if I push and work hard I will achieve what I want in life. When I look at players like Promise they inspire me because they were here at the Academy and now are with the senior team”.

The future is bright for the youngster and soon he will be making waves in Mzansi football and he could not hide his excitement when he spoke about Percy Tau and he said that ” looking at what Percy has achieved it inspires me, I remember when I got here I used to see him and then boom he is making strides in South African football. I also want to in his footsteps and make a name for myself”.

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