The love affair between South Africa’s National Under-20 midfielder Oswin Appollis with a soccer ball can be compared to that of jealous lover who never wants to see his romantic partner in the company of another man.
Yes, 17-year old midfielder prefers having the soccer ball at the caress of his feet, and any attempt from an opposing player trying to dispossess him off of it; is seen as criminal at his sight.
Appollis has a special gift of making such an opposing player pay dearly for his unwelcomed attempts.
In his first 90 minutes for Amajita where he scored his first goal for the national juniors in a friendly tie against Saudi Arabia, Appollis caused midfielder Alghamdi Feras to trip at his own feet without laying a finger on him.
Feras got dizzy from trying to keep up with Appollis’ quick feet which danced around him before he changed his direction towards goal.
Appollis dribbled past Fares only to be brought down by a late challenge which resulted in a free kick.
Being able to beat his marker with a few touches without over elaborating on the ball, is a skill the Cape Town-born midfielder works on in training on a daily basis. His teammates have found themselves in similar situations as Fares after having failed to keep track of his swift drilling skills on an occasional bases.
The driving force behind Appollis’ work rate on the pitch is centred around two dreams he says wants to see them come to pass before his time comes to hang up his boots.
The Supersport United midfielder, who is now seating on three Amajita caps out of the four World Cup preparation matches now played, says he wants to see himself in the final 21-man squad that is to represent South Africa in upcoming 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The second is to earn a move abroad.
The FIFA World Cup tournament will run from 23 May to 15 June in Poland.
“It feels great to have played in the three friendly matches and scored my first goal in one of them so far,” Appollis says. “This says to me that I am doing something right and that I just need to continue working really hard.
“My fellow teammates have been really helpful in pushing me to improve in certain areas of my game. That is very important for me because my goal is to see myself in the final 21-man squad that is to represent South Africa upcoming World Cup.
“Earning a move abroad comes secondary.”
Appollis added that working with Amajita coach, Thabo Senong, has been quite a revelatory experience for him, stating that he has been getting personal feedback on which areas he can still tap into as a player moving forward.
“And that is just how my mindset is,” Appollis says. “I am always driven to get better. And that is why working with coach Thabo is such a joy. He always has something fresh to offer his players individually on which areas they can still improve on. My mother does the same. I called her after scoring my first goal against Saudi Arabia and she was so delighted. She also reminded me that the job was not done yet and that I need to continue on working hard”