Junior is all grown up and ready for the big leagues

Former Milano United midfielder Brandon Junior Theron makes a run during a match earlier this year.

Like a budding player, former Milano midfielder, Brandon Junior Theron, 23, can barely wait to strap on his boots and make his Premier Soccer League (PSL) debut with newbies Highlands Park FC. With less than a week to go before the 2016/17 PSL season kicks off, Junior said he can’t wait to get his soccer boots dirty in South Africa’s top flight soccer scene.

Junior first got mud on his boots while playing for Origan Spurs, at the age of eight.

Last month, the versatile midfielder was snatched up by the Johannesburg-based side, following a stellar season with the Kinnes.

Junior scored six goals for Milano last season, and said his solo run against Cape Town All Stars is one that he’ll never forget.

Newly promoted Highlands finished second on the National First Division (NFD) log last season, one point behind league winners Baroka FC – who earned straight promotion to the PSL.

But, they soon joined Baroka in the top tier after winning promotion through the promotion/relegation playoffs.

“I was so excited when I got the call from Highlands – it was all goosebumps for me. Playing in the PSL is a dream come true. It’s every soccer players goal to play in the highest league,” said Junior.

“When I received the call I was already doing pre-season training with Cape Town City, but Highlands was first to sign me and I joined them on a two-year deal. The management said that my style suits their brand of football.

“I started training with the team last month and it’s been a massive learning curve.

“Training has been really intense – there’s a lot of focus put on being a more physical player and I also have to adapt to my new coach’s philosophy,” he said.

Junior said being away from his family and friends will be difficult, but the chance he got was a once in a lifetime opportunity and he made sure to seize it. However, he is not the only Capetonian in the squad and the former Ajax Cape Town star player, Franklin Cale has been his mentor.

“This is a sacrifice I need to make for my family. I’ll be away from my son Thiago, who turned one a couple days after I signed.

“A father and son share a special bond so it will be tough for me, but I’ll make arrangements to see him often,” said Junior.