We caught up with Thabeni before a coaching session this week to find out a little more about him.
Hi Thabeni, tell us more about yourself.
I'm 14 years old and joined the Aces Academy as an U13 two years ago. This is my second year playing for the Aces Academy U15's. I'm really enjoying it here and we are a good bunch of guys. We still have a game to go and am positive we will win the league.
What is your current position
I'm currently playing as a holding midfielder under coach Mitch.
Where do you live and go to school?
I live in 4th avenue Alex with my mum who is in security and go to Northview High. I'm an only child and my dad lives in KZN.
How did you end up at the Aces Academy?
I grew up playing for Mighty Hero's at Victoria Park and coach 'Mocks' took me to Wanderers where I met the ex Aces Academy director, Cayle Coetsee. When coach Cayle moved to Aces he invited myself and another four Alex players to trials but I was the only lucky one who was selected.
Is your life all about football?
Fosho! And I feel very lucky being here. After school I catch a taxi to get to training three times a week and luckily my friend drops me off afterwards.
Do you feel you have improved your game since joining Aces?
100%...I have learnt so much working with coach Mitch mainly on the technical aspects. The Aces Academy is a completely different platform from Alex and I feel blessed having been given the opportunity.
Are you excited about Aces been renamed Alexandra United?
Oh yes. Not only me but there's a real buzz with the community especially from my friends. Aces is very professional and have PSL experience and my friends who see me wearing my Aces kit in the township are now all inspired. I've started hearing that Aces will soon be doing some youth clinics with both players and coaches and I'm sure Aces will have much more Alex players in all the teams.
Whats your message to other aspiring footballers?
It's all about passion and hard work. Nothing more and nothing less.
Local team supported growing up : Orlando Pirates
Local player : Andile Jali
International team : Barcelona
International player : Sergio Busquets
TV show : Soccer Zone
Thank you for your time and best of luck with your career ahead!
Pleasure and thank you for the opportunity.
At the conclusion of this interview coach Steve Barker came up Thabeni and told him that he had been watching him closely for a while. "Keep going my boy - another two years and we will start looking at you for the 1st team!"
Inspiring words and great motivation to the well grounded and polite Thabeni.