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FROM THE STREETS OF MEADOWLANDS TO CEMENTING HIS NAME AS A GREAT PROSPECT IN THE DSTV DISKI CHALLENGE. Author: Erica MathyeFrom the humble beginnings of playing street soccer in the streets of Meadowlands in Soweto, Keabetswe Ramotsei is headed to greater heights as he is making a name for himself in the DStv Diski Challenge after joining Mamelodi Sundowns at the beginning of the 2023/24 season. The 22-year-old forward may be bubbly and funny off the pitch, but he's definitely one of the best players to come out of the Diski Team. He is undoubtedly fierce on the pitch and confident with the ball. Speaking to the digital magazine team, Disco, as he is affectionately known, said his love and passion for football began in the streets of Soweto as a young boy. "My love for football began at an early age when I used to play on the streets of Soweto. I was just having fun then, and I was unaware it would place me where I am right now. I, however, only started realising at the age of 15 what my capabilities were and that my talent can take me far."
Ramotsei joined the Diski Team shortly before the DStv Diski Challenge season began. According to him, playing for a big team like Mamelodi Sundowns is a dream come true.
"There is not any other feeling like being a part of a team like Mamelodi Sundowns. Playing for a team of this calibre, that is Sundowns, is a big deal and any player here can attest to that. This is the best team one can play for," he said.
With the great strides that Keabetswe has been making in the Diski Team, collecting man of the match accolades, the young Soweto-born footballer received a call-up to the senior team. He made his debut in the Carling Knockout Cup and came on as a substitute and played for 46 minutes. "I was happy to receive a call-up, but honestly, I was not expecting to see my name on the team sheet nor to even get game time. I thought I was just joining the team for experience purposes so I may see how they operate. When I was told that I was going in as a substitute, I was nervous. But I just told myself that this chance comes only once in a long time and that I need to live in the moment. On the day, I gave it my all and in time, another chance- will come"Ramotsei expressed the joy he felt when he made his debut.
To top it off, when the game went to the penalties, he took a cheeky penalty kick that exuded confidence. With a grin on his face, he explained what was going through his mind when that special moment came about.
"The moment we lined up to take penalties, Gaston Sirino asked if I was going to take the penalties, I confidently said yes, even though I was not listed as one of the penalty takers. I took the chance and it worked for me. I kept reminding myself that I have done this for so long, so I can do it here too,"Keabetswe continued. With his side having a good run in the DDC, Disco and his teammates are looking to put in the hard work in order to consistently remain at the top and lift the trophy. "Our objective is to improve in every match and eventually win the league as a team. At Mamelodi Sundowns, winning is part of the culture, so we all would like to lift the trophy at the end of the season. I will continue to do my best to help the team in getting the desired results. I will continue to give my all for the badge,"Ramotsei declared. On what keeps him going: My mother. "When I think of my mother and the situation at home, I am reminded that I need to make a difference. On who inspires him: Peter Shalulile. "I am trying to replicate the things that Shalulile is doing. He has set a mark. In my opinion, Shalulile is one of the best players that I have seen and I have enjoyed seeing him play during AFCON.." A sport he thinks he could play besides football: Rugby. I have speed and could easily be Cheslin Kolbe. Favourite team outside of SA: The Gunners - Arsenal. On why he is called Disco: I was likened to Bafana Bafana midfielder Frank "Disco" Makua. When I was 13, I used to play as a right-back. One day, someone suggested I should play as a winger because they thought I could play like Frank"