Despite fewer opportunities available in the townships, Katlego Latagomo believes his resilience and patience will pay off and will prove, given an opportunity, that he belongs to the big-time football stage.
The 24-year-old lad loves soccer with a passion. He is dedicated to reaching the firmament of the football world. “This will satisfy the passion that developed in me when I was only five.”
Of his love for the soccer, this is what he said: “I took after my father who was passionate about soccer and played it in his youth.
“My father was fully committed to football. As a young man, he played for various teams in Gamashashane, Limpopo.
“I used to watch him play, and he inspired me to follow on his footsteps,” says Katlego.
He says seeing his father play, and show great interest in football, rubbed off him and got him interested in playing soccer as a young boy growing. With a twinkle in his eye, he says he is eternally grateful to him for his nurturing love.
As he recalls, he started off playing soccer for his school, Khatlamping Primary. Even though he was only a little boy, he had a profound passion for it – and all thanks to his father.
“I started playing school soccer until Grade 7, at which point I joined the Orlando Pirates Academy, playing there until I was in Grade 10. After Grade 10 I joined Ama-BEE, a team that features in the ABC Motsepe League. I played for the team for about four years.
He then moved on, relocating to Mpumalanga where he joined Phiva Young Stars.
“The team was in the ABC Motsepe league,” says Katlego.
His stay at Stars was short-lived. After one season, he left to join Barberton City Stars, another ABC Motsepe League affiliate.
His stay at Barberton City Stars lasted for two seasons.
“My determination to succeed in football stems from the fact I was born into a sport-loving family.
“I have my own challenges. For a long period of time, I do not see my family. But these are sacrifices we have to make as football players. My family is supportive of me, and allows me to make my own decisions,” he says.
His ultimate goal is to play for one of the top teams in the country, and hopefully to represent his country as a player in the national team.
His advice to young players is simple: “They need to be dedicated and to move away from their comfort zone if they are to achieve success and greatness.”
“What about Me? One day I hope to make my family proud.
“I am proud of my family as they are a supportive family.”
At his leisure, he plays for Umlilo FC, a Tembisa soccer outfit involved in local annual soccer tournaments.