Masegela confident of deal with Lille
A YOUNG South African prospect, Tholang Masegela could be lost to local football if his two-week trial with French side Lille goes well.
This could even be before he kicks a ball for an Absa Premiership or National First Division side.
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder from Mahlasedi Park, near Polokwane, was spotted by Lille scouts while playing for Diambars Academy and was invited to trials.
To date, Lille have signed striker Lebogang Mothiba, also from Diambars and chances of Masegela also signing are good.
Speaking from France where he has been since last Monday, the shy midfielder, who models his game around that of Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta, said he was enjoying his French experience, but talked about the extreme competitiveness of the game in Europe.
“It is something I never expected. A Lille scout saw me and said they would like to see me. It eventually happened and I am here in France,” Masegela said.
“I have been training with their youth team, but the standard is high and the game is quicker and more physical. That does not worry me much though. I know I can adapt
to that because in terms of talent, I believe I am good enough to make it.
“My only worry is to do enough to convince them that they must take me. I want to play here because it is a good league and it can help me to one day play for Bafana Bafana,”
The football bug, plus chances of making it as a professional saw the youngster momentarily drop out of high school.
This is a decision that did not sit well with his parents, but Masegela believes that one day he will look at it as a risk that had to be taken.
He is now getting help settling down in France from the 20-year old Mothiba, who had a brief spell with the first team before Herve Renard was fired as coach.
“I will have to work hard here.
“I left school for three months and the best results I can give my parents is a contract from Lille. I missed out at Bidvest Wits because my agent did not like the contract. I have to get this one,” Masegela said.
“Lebo (Mothiba) has also been helping me as he knows his way around here.
“He has been giving me some advice. I want to follow in his footsteps and join him here.”
Masegela will return to the country on Friday, while Mothiba will leave France for Brazil tomorrow, where he will join the national U-23 team for a friendly against Brazil.