Mailula reflects on impressive breakthrough season with Downs

Following an impressive breakthrough season with Mamelodi Sundowns, newly crowned DStv Premiership Young Player of the Season Cassius Mailula has looked back and reflected on his 2022/23 debut campaign.

Mailula was recently honoured with Young Player of the Season accolade at the Premier Soccer League awards ceremony at the weekend.

The 21-year-old striker was one of the breakout stars and the talk of the town since making his debut in September 2022, which saw him scoring 15 goals and providing four assists across all competitions.

His impressive form earned him a Bafana Bafana call-up and he made his first appearance for Hugo Broos’ men during their crucial back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Liberia at Orlando Stadium on March 24.

Speaking to the media during their premiership trophy celebration with official partners Hyundai in Bedfordview, Ekurhuleni recently, Mailula said he relishes the opportunity to work alongside the league’s joint top goalscorer Peter Shalulile.

“That guy [Shalulile] is a hard worker, I am actually inspired and motivated,” Mailula said.

“To see him wake up early in the morning, go to the gym, do recovery and how he takes care of himself off the pitch. It has been great to work alongside him, because we sometimes call each other to do extra finishing training.

“He is one of the guys that told me that potential alone won’t be enough to play for Sundowns, I have to work hard and put in extra effort in training. Things that will make me a better person and a better player.”

He also spoke about his emotional breakdown after their CAF Champions League exit against Wydad Athletic Club over a week ago.

“I was too emotional that day, because I wanted to win the Champions League with my role model Themba Zwane,” he said.

“For me to be that emotional is because I thought we were going to go to extra-time [since the scoreline was 2-2], so the moment I was told it’s over, that’s when it hit me hard.” 


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