Sundowns star Aubrey Ngoma swaps the soccer ball for the chalkboard

Mamelodi Sundowns' attacking midfielder Aubrey Ngoma is encouraging young and upcoming footballers to take their education while also developing their football careers.
Mamelodi Sundowns' attacking midfielder Aubrey Ngoma is encouraging young and upcoming footballers to take their education while also developing their football careers.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns attacking midfielder Aubrey Ngoma showed that he’s just as comfortable on the pitch as he is off it after he swapped the soccer ball for the chalkboard this week.

Ngoma had a busy day in the classroom as he gave lessons to the rising football stars of the University of Pretoria’s High Performance Centre (HPC).

With the help of tournament scouts like football legends Simba Marumo‚ Jabulani Mendu and Selekedi Mogale‚ Coca-Cola invited 15 players to a week-long camp at HPC.

The event saw Chief Jerry Nkosi High School being crowned 2019 champions on Saturday at King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban.

The 30-year-old Ngoma said he had a fruitful interaction with the enthusiastic boys who asked questions about what it takes to become a successful footballer.

"I was here to inspire them and give them a bit of professional footballers’ background so they know what's ahead of them‚" he said.

"We had a very good conversation‚ we engaged very well and the question they were asking were very relevant.

"You could hear that they are willing to learn and understand how the professional setup works."

On the topic of fame‚ Ngoma encouraged the boys to always remind themselves of the hunger that pushed them to becoming professional footballers.

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Aubrey Ngoma with COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars squad.
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Aubrey Ngoma with COPA Coca-Cola Future Stars squad.
Image: COCA COLA/THABANG MAZIBUKO

He said a number of footballers tend to forget this wakeup call after they get comfortable‚ which at times leads to a drop in performance.

"Some of the important questions were about how to handle fame as you turn professional‚ and also the steps to take leading into making it as a professional footballer‚" he said.

The Hammanskraal-born left winger said he was impressed by the boys’ level of questioning and their eagerness to learn more about football.

"You can hear that the boys are really willing to learn and understand how it works‚” he said. 

“I was very impressed when they asked about how to handle fame.

"That's the most important thing‚ especially when you look at where they come from….. the black communities‚ the background where you come from.

“It was good to know that they know that even if you get famous you still have to remain humble and understand your role in the football industry."

The importance of taking education seriously was another highlight of the session that concluded the boys having light-hearted discussions on how Ngoma handles the attention that comes his way from the opposite sex.

"When I was 15‚ I always had to make sure that my schoolwork was done before training‚” he said.

“Even though I had to travel by train from Hammanskraal to town and back‚ my parents never allowed me to go to bed without at least spending an hour on my books.

"It wasn’t easy but through hard work and dedication‚ I am now an educated professional footballer‚" he said.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X