Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Neo Maema

How Neo Maema defied his dad on major career decision

Home » How Neo Maema defied his dad on major career decision

Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Neo Maema has revealed how he defied his dad on a major career decision.

After the 2020/21 season, having sparkled for Bloemfontein Celtic, Maema had to make a major career decision.

Sundowns came knocking for his services, and the offer was obviously tempting for the Free State-born star.

Maema’s dad feared joining the Brazilians would end his son’s football career.

However, the 27-year-old has been a consistent figure in the Sundowns lineup in the last two seasons.

In his maiden season for Sundowns, he made 36 appearances across all competitions, winning the league title, Nedbank Cup and the MTN8.

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This season, he will likely play more games under Rulani Mokwena, having already featured in 35.

Downs are still to play the knockout stages of the CAF Champions League and the Nedbank Cup.

His father, according to Maema, had not anticipated such a return.

“My father asked me if I was sure about going to Sundowns. It was not about proving my father wrong.

“He was just worried about what he saw when other players were going there, and as a father, this is the best possible advice you can give to your son,” said Maema.

The former Bloemfontein Celtic star further reveals his response to his dad.

“I told him that I would go and we would see because I came to Sundowns to compete against the best and take my football to the next level.

“Right now, he is very proud, but he feels exactly like I think, and I can still grow and do more.

“The aim is not to be satisfied. You should always be hungry,” added Maema.

In his maiden season, he scored four goals and provided seven assists as he helped the club to clinch a treble. This season, he has six goals and four assists.

He has attributed his soft landing to being coachable and listening to coaches and senior players.

“Adapting from Bloemfontein Celtic to Sundowns, where there are high expectations of winning every match and bringing trophies, can’t be easy.

“But then it was better because I listened to the senior players when I joined. I told myself to be coachable, listen to the coaches, and apply myself and how to help the team. I believe they needed something from me, so I just had to keep grinding, and I feel it is still progressing.”

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