Following a niggling ankle injury that sidelined him for almost the whole of last season, Brave Warriors poster boy Peter Shalulile is well on the mend and could be back at full speed in the colours of his beloved South African premiership club, Highlands Park FC, come next month.
In an exclusive interview with New Era Sport, Shalulile – who spent the festive season at home with family and friends in his native Namibia – touched on a range of issues, including his enduring ankle injury that saw him miss out on club football the whole of last season and spoke of his plans for the coming season in the SA topflight league.
Last year, shortly after steering Highlands Park to that country’s football flagship league – the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) – when he netted two crucial goals during the promotional playoffs against Mbombela FC, Shalulile unfortunately suffered a bad knock on his ankle and had to undergo an operation that saw him miss out on the whole of last season.
Giving an update on his recovery and his future plans with The Lions of the North – as Highlands Park FC is popularly known – the 23-year old Namibian net-rattler said he is recovering well and come next month when the PSL starts, he will be ready to take his club to greater heights.
“Last season was a rollercoaster for me, as I went from helping my club gain promotion to the PSL and then I suffered an ankle injury that sidelined me an entire season, meaning I didn’t feature in a single match in my very first PSL season as a professional… That was very sad.
“But I have recovered well so far and have just been busy with the rehabilitation process, so by next month I should be back at full speed when the PSL starts,” said an upbeat Shalulile.
“Generally speaking, last season was not the best of seasons for us as a club, as we did not perform as anticipated and come next month when the league starts we should be ready for whatever challenge and ready to compete with whoever.
“Personally, this coming season will be my season, as I want my club to at least finish in the top five clubs, or an even better position than that. So, I will work hard to make sure we achieve great things this coming season as a club and also individually.”
Shalulile joined Highlands Park when the club was playing in the South African second-tier league, following an impressive showing at the COSAFA Cup in 2015 and upon he arrival helped the club gain promotion to the PSL.
He joined Highlands Park FC from Namibian premier league outfit Tura Magic. He had earlier worked his way up from the national Under-20 ranks to the senior national team and scored crucial goals en route to their first ever major international trophy, the 2015 COSAFA Cup.
On the international scene, Shalulile has – according to statistics – scored six goals for the Brave Warriors with the most recent recorded in Namibia’s 1-0 win over Niger during their Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier last June. He was also a member of the Under-19 Namibian squad that won the Metropolitan Under-19 Premier Cup in South Africa in 2011.
Raring to go… Brave Warriors forward Peter Shalulile (right) is recovering from an ankle injury and is ready to impress his SA club, Highlands Park FC, at the start of the season next month.