Mzansi Diski can honestly state that she is unaccustomed to having her fledglings plucked from the nest at a tender young age and allowed to go out into the football realm and display their God given gifts without ever having graced her turf at the professional level; in 2003, she had three of her prodigal sons signed by English football club Chelsea F.C. and the lives of those fledglings were altered from the moment they left their Elandsfontein based nest.
Boy-Boy Mosia, Jeffery Ntuka (Pule) and Michael Masilo Modubi were three players deemed worthy of signing for The Blues after impressing their scouts during a SAFA/Transnet School of Excellence tour of Ireland in the MILK Cup, even before the Blues were renowned for their “buy and leave a-loan” policy, they made great use of their connections to loan out talented foreign players to their satellite club K.V.C. Westerlo in Belgium. The players would be allowed to develop further while playing regular first team football at a competitive level and hopefully earning enough national team caps to earn work permits or staying in Belgium long enough to gain residency papers with the view of moving back to Stamford Bridge and becoming a first team player.
Things may have not gone according to plan for the Mzansi bred youngsters, blame it on the influx of cash and the increased expectations over in London or the genuine lack of exposure at any level of the national team structures in South Africa if you will; the expectations were high on all the lads and they would each deserve individual pieces that document their own paths in this beautiful yet often heartbreaking craft we call football. Yet I have dedicated this one to a Seshego born midfield general that promised to be the answer to our question of who would marshal the Bafana engine room in the manner Linda “Mercedes-Benz” Buthelezi did in his heyday.
Blessed with ox-like strength in the tackle, the engine of a German manufactured machine and the marking proficiency to leave attacking midfield players feeling claustrophobic for weeks after a run-out with him on the park, Modubi was a young man who played like he had been in the game for far longer than his numbers dictated. Impressing scouts as a holding midfielder is not easy in modern football as the positional demands of the role have been redefined with the change in tactical philosophies and ideals, Masilo did extremely well to show the potential of an EPL level holding midfield player at such a tender age.
Plucked from the Ria Stars academy at 11 years of age by the national School of Excellence, the former Real Gunners trainee was signed by Chelsea F.C at 18 along with his 2 fellow Mzansi lads in 2003 before being loaned to Westerlo in Belgium who were campaigning in the Belgian Pro League. Masilo played regularly in midfield for the Antwerp based club as they recorded their joint best league finish of 6th with some stellar displays that saw them qualify for the UEFA Inter-Toto Cup, he continued to make a total of 103 appearances over 8 seasons for the club as injuries slowed down his progress in pivotal stages of some seasons while still managing to amass a good reputation for himself across the league for being a competitive and competent holding midfield player. He was released by the only professional club he had played for in 2011 and found a new home at Dessel Sport before seemingly falling off the radar in 2014 after being released by the second division club, in whose jersey he appeared 9 times.
Masilo Michael Modubi may not be a name many in the current generation will recall very easily, yet he was a player that showed many just how much potential there truly was in South Africa and although he may have not developed into that upgraded version of Mercedes-Benz, we at GSV will always like to remember the career of Masilo for the great promise it showed while also providing us with another EU passport having South African lad to sign on Football Manager when one is looking to add some Mzansi lads to the roster.
Full Name; Masilo Michael Modubi
DoB: April 22nd, 1985 (30)
PoB: Seshego, Polokwane; Limpopo, South Africa
Caps & Goals: 4 Caps (Former u/23 International)
Position/s: Anchorman, Ball-Winning Midfielder, Deep-Lying Playmaker, Box-To-Box Midfielder
Height: 1, 76m
Preferred Foot: Right
Career Club Appearances: 113 Games
Previous Clubs: Real Gunners, Ria Stars, SAFA/Transnet School of Excellence, Chelsea, K.V.C. Westerlo, K.F.C. Dessel Sport
Market Value: R 2 800 000