Samkelo, 20, is a gifted central midfielder who has established himself as one of the best players in DStv Diski Challenge (DDC) in the past few months. Many have called for Samkelo to be promoted to the senior team, likening him to Amakhosi’s central midfield great Tinashe Nengomasha.
Samkelo’s father Eugene, a gifted left-winger in his prime, has revealed he always saw his son was going to be a footballer even when he started out as a rugby player.
“I realised that this boy would be a good footballer when he was seven. At that time, he was playing rugby at his primary school [Maragon Mooikloof, private school in Pretoria] because they didn’t have football. I quickly transferred him to King’s College in Marlboro where there’s football. He always had that bond with the ball, keeping it in between his legs even when he was just seated,” Zwane, who also played for Jomo Cosmos and SuperSport United, reflected.
It looks rather strange that Samkelo is working his way up at Chiefs while his dad turned out for arch-rivals Pirates. Eugene attempted to make his Ruimsig-born lad a Buccaneer but circumstances didn’t allow as it looked like it was written in the stars that he’s be a Glamour Boy, instead.
“I did enroll him once at Pirates but there were issues with transport because Pirates were training in Mayfair and he was studying at King’s College. There was a time where I had someone transporting him but it was costly and inconvenient, so it didn’t work out,” Eugene said.
Chiefs senior coach Arthur Zwane and Eugene are distant cousins. The pair share a strong bond. However, this isn’t the reason the promising central midfielder is at Chiefs, according to his dad, who also reckons the lad is ready for the senior team.
“A lot of people think Arthur just recruited him to join Chiefs because of our relationship. That’s not true because the boy was playing for Panorama Under-17 and he excelled there, that’s when Arthur invited him to come train with Chiefs in 2019. He went straight to their Diski team,” noted Zwane.