Andile Mogakane relishing Dolphins deal
One of the six new signings for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins for the upcoming season is young Andile Mogakane who has been upgraded from a semi-professional deal to a franchise contract for the new campaign.
Mogakane has much in common with another new signing with the Dolphins Lifa Ntanzi, as he also came through the successful KZNCU, DSR & Sunfoil Township & Rural Development Programme where he was scouted to take up a place at Northwood Boys High School in Grade Nine.
“I am forever grateful to the coaches who guided me through my younger years in Lindelani,” the 20-year-old Mogakane said. “When I was in Grade Seven I was picked for the national development tournament in Johannesburg and played well.
“I was offered a place at Northwood in Grade Nine and had to adapt quickly because it was very unfamiliar to me coming into an English speaking school.
“My first year was tough and I stayed back and repeated Grade Nine where I was selected for the KZN Coastal Khaya Majola Week team. I only expected to be picked for the Under 17 side!”
The career of the young all-rounder took off from there and he was selected for the South Africa Under 19 side in Grade 11 where the team faced the West Indies in a home series.
He then missed the SA Under 19 tour to England the following year but performed well on the Under 19 tour to India the following year.
“I think it was a good wake up call for me not being selected to go to England. I was obviously disappointed but it made me realise that I needed to work really hard on my game.
“Since then I have been working as hard as possible to make myself better because I know that I can make it.”
A semi-professional deal with KZN Cricket was next on the cards of Mogakane and then at the end of this season, after he made his Hollywoodbets Dolphins debut, a first-time deal with the franchise was on the table.
“I was so excited when I got the offer!” he exclaimed. “My family was so proud that I was given the contract but I know there is so much work to do now.
“It was a dream come true for me and I am really excited to join a squad of players that are so supportive and encouraging.”
Mogakane is looking forward to being a part of the Dolphins set-up and wants to learn as much as he can from the players.
“There is so much experience in the squad and it’s important that I make use of that knowledge.
“It’s awesome being part of a squad where the guys are willing to help wherever they can,” he added.
His debut for the franchise came in their final round robin game of the Momentum One Day Cup against the Imperial Lions where he picked up two wickets.