Rujil Pillay, AmaZulu FC central player
Rujil Pillay, AmaZulu FC central player

Westville teen juggles matric while playing for AmaZulu Football Club

By Nonhlanhla Nozizwe Hlatshwayo Time of article published Oct 15, 2021

Share this article:

Durban: Rijul Pillay is determined to do his best in the upcoming matric final examinations as he juggles school work with his soccer career.

The 18-year-old AmaZulu Football Club player of Westville, is currently doing his matric at Glenwood High School. He said his aim was to pass matric and further his studies, while he continued with his football career.

“I started playing soccer at the age of four for my local club in Westville. This was where I developed a love for the sport. I was subsequently scouted and signed for AmaZulu FC at 13. Since then, I have been juggling between my school work and soccer. My life has been about studying, going for training, and playing matches. I hardly have time to go out with my friends or do other things,” said Rijul.

The AmaZulu FC central defender said his soccer career was further nurtured when he got to Glenwood High School , as AmaZulu has an academy through the school.

“Things took a real turn at this time. That is when I realised that it was getting professional, and I took it more seriously. Before that I used to play soccer just for fun with my friends and for the local soccer club."

Rijul said while he had a lot to focus on, juggling the two was not difficult as he had become used to it over the years.

“Sometimes I would have to stay behind to write exams and join the team later after I finished my school work, especially if it was during an exam. At other times, I used to take my books to a match or to practice, to do a little bit of studying in between. I will not miss an exam or a test, in the same way that I will not miss a match."

Rijul said he drew his inspiration from his football role models, Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus) and Rushine De Reuck (Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana). He aspires to play for Manchester United.

Rijul credited his family and his school for supporting his career.

"They take me to training, keep me updated about my school work, and make sure that I have everything balanced. My school gives extra lessons when we have missed class. They also encourage and support us to always be our best in both academics and sports.“

He said he had seen growth in himself - from the time he signed with AmaZulu FC.

"I was promoted to the under 23 team when I was 16, which helped me mature quickly as a person and as a player."

Rijul said his schedule would not change as he prepared to write the 2021 National Senior Certificate examination later this month.

“Both school and soccer are an important part of my life. Soccer keeps me grounded and it has kept me out of trouble for the past years. It also keeps me motivated and disciplined as far as my school work is concerned. Quitting soccer now is not necessary, because I have been handling it very well in the past years, and I can still do it now."

For his final exams, Rijul said he aimed to get As and Bs so he could further his studies.

“I am looking to get into university, so I can study towards a business degree. While I carry on as a professional soccer player, I would like to see myself strive as a businessman," he said.

The Post

Share this article: