In all honesty, yours truly had serious reservations when former Tura Magic and Brave Warriors’ target man “Pikes” Shalulile made his big-money move to Chloorkop to join forces with PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the beginning of the current term.
Given the wealth of talent at the Pretoria outfit’s disposal, one was tempted to question the rationale of a shift to the star-studded Pretoria outfit from unfashionable Highlands Park, whose franchise was sold to TS Galaxy.
It does not happen regularly to witness a fairly unknown “footie” from a lower-ranked football-playing nation making waves in the continent’s richest football league. Not only is “Pikes” rattling the opposition net at will; he has become more clinical in front of goal, while his movement and running off the ball has improved dramatically.
Never before since Mohammed Ouseb set the scene alight in his PSL debut season with Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs has a Namibian footie caught the attention of the usually-hard-to-please South African football followers with so much fanfare, including the often-volatile media.
Who in their sobered mind ever imagined that the lanky “Tura Boytjie” would casually restrict seasoned campaigners Sibusiso Vilakhazi and Aubrey Modiba to cameo roles.
The 26-year-old Namibian is currently the hottest property in the entire PSL alongside homeboy Deon Hotto-Kavendjii, who has also found new shelter with Soweto giants Orlando Pirates at the beginning of the season. Pikes has made the Doubting Thomasses, including the author, seat and eat humble pie as he continues to lead Sundowns’ firing line with the precision of a seasoned campaigner.
This is a clear demonstration that athletes can only improve playing alongside much better equipped more talented teammates and “Pikes” remarkable rise to overnight stardom is testimony to this adage. At 26, “Pikes” still has a lot to offer and could be easily shipped across the Mediterranean Sea sooner than expected.
The boy is a real beast with a big heart and never stops harassing defenders with his unbelievable, amazing stamina. He is your typical old-fashioned centre forward and could be a definite fit for the robust English Premiership (EPL) should the opportunity arose.
It’s about time South Africans start taking Namibian “footies” seriously if the near faultless display of the PSL hottest property at the moment; “Pikes” and “Hotter than Hell” left-footed lad from Mondesa, is anything to go by. Well done guys! You have certainly raised the bar for others to follow suit.
Namibia is very proud of your exploits in the PSL. The trident of veteran goalie Virgil Vries, Ananias Gebhardt and Riaan Hanamub are also doing very well with their respective clubs Maroko Swallows, Baroka and Chippa United in that sequence. I rest my case!