Football comes with a lot of ups and downs that are barely exposed to the public. It's difficult being expected to excel in football everytime you're in the field of play. That's immense pressure that you get from the technical team, fans, loved ones and even yourself. Now, the former Orlando Pirates promising player Augustine Mahlonoko has announced that calling it quits from football from the time being following an unpleasant experience in his career. This might as a shock since he destined to become a superb player in Premier Soccer League (PSL). After an excellent run at Pirates academy, he was then promoted to be part of Soweto giants reserve team that plays in DStv Diski Challenge (DCC).
That's when he ended up captaining the side and he was so brilliant that in 2018, he won the club’s Development Player of the Season award and even went to Brazil to represent the South African Under-21 side during the Project X tournament. That's when the senior sides technical team at Mayfair decided to promote him during the 2019/20 season. Mahlonoko found it difficult to break into the Buccaneers starting eleven, as he only made four appearances. He bacame the youngest player to make his debut for the Bucs in the PSL, doing so at the age of 16 years and 352 days. “I know a lot of people are going to be disappointed with the decision I took. Yes, I’m taking a break from football. My mental health is very important guys,” he shared in a since-removed Facebook post.
The 20-year-old midfielder was released by Pirates in July 2020, that's when he went on to try his luck at Baroka FC on a three-year deal. However, he was later sent on loan to Pretoria Callies. Once again, he struggled for game time and he was released. Mahlonoko cited the reason for wanting to hang his boots earlier in his career had to do with mental health. "All he wanted to do was to protect his peace. To every young player remember football is the most important of the least important things in life... There are things in life that are more important. Your happiness, mental health and peace are far more important. Please always remember that," wrote Mahlonoko on his Facebook page, which he later deleted.
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