Sundowns wonderkid Mailula reveals childhood heroes

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Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns awarded man of the match   during the 2022 Carling Black Label Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu   on the 12 November 2022 at FNB Stadium in Nasrec © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns awarded man of the match during the 2022 Carling Black Label Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu on the 12 November 2022 at FNB Stadium in Nasrec © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Having rapidly emerged as a potential star for Mamelodi Sundowns, wonderkid Cassius Mailula has revealed that he is drawing inspiration from two of the club's legends.

Mailula is enjoying his breakout campaign with the DStv Premiership this season after making his senior debut back in September, and has since gone on to score five goals in eight appearances across all competitions.

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The 21-year-old also scored three times in the recent Carling Black Label Cup, including a brace in the 4-0 final win over Orlando Pirates, and has been touted to have a bright future ahead of him at Chloorkop.

Speaking to the club's website, Maiulula revealed that he had grown up watching club legend Teko Modise and that he had modeled parts of his game on the former Bafana Bafana star.

"Teko Modise," he said, when asked who his childhood hero was. "The first time I saw him on the ball, I knew I wanted to play like him. His footballing brain and his ability to unlock opposing defences made him a hero to most kids in my age group.

"I had the privilege to watch his games and he achieved so much with Mamelodi Sundowns, including the first CAF Champions League trophy. I think it’s great that he is an Ambassador for the club so that young players like myself can learn from him."

Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates go

Mailula, whose performances have put him on Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos' radar, also revealed that he was taking inspiration from teammate Themba Zwane, who he names as the player he admires the most in the current Downs set up.

"Themba Zwane is the man!" he added. "What he does with the ball never ceases to amaze me. As a midfielder, I love his confidence on the ball, and watching him play has improved my understanding of the game.

"I also appreciate his consistency over the years. I often ask him questions about the game and he always gives me advice. He is someone I look up to and it is a privilege to finally play with him."

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