We caught up with our latest goalkeeping sensation Christoffer Mafoumbi on Thursday morning after his recall to the Congo national team, while discussing his new life in the South African Premiership.
Mafoumbi started his career at amateur French lower league side JA Armentières, before the Roubaix-born stopper was roped into esteemed Lille academy at the age of 11.
After five years at Les Dogues, the towering shot-stopper made the move to Racing Club de Lens where he featured prominently in the club’s development side.
However, after failing to break into the club’s first-team as young ambitious goalkeeper, the Congo international joined US Le Pontet before a short stint at Bulgarian side Vereya, when a serious injury halted his progress.
Former head coach Denis Lavagne then roped in the talented French-born keeper, as he looked to recover from an Achilles tendon rupture and rebuild his professional football career.
Since returning to full fitness in the beginning of 2017, the 16-time capped Congolese keeper has proved to be a major coup for Ea Lla Koto – providing dominant displays between the sticks.
Now, after featuring in the club’s last four games and keeping two clean sheets in the process, Mafoumbi admits he excited for the future as his hard work on the training ground – has resulted in a return to the Diables Rouges squad.
“I am excited to be back with the national team after a long layoff due to injury,” he said. “I have been working hard at training since recovering from injury.
“However, there is still a room for improvement from my side and I am working hard to be at my level best.”
With stiff competition from Thela Ngobeni for a starting berth in manager Serame Letsoaka’s squad, the former Lens man revealed how close he’s become with the former Kaizer Chiefs youth product – while also discussing the strength of the league.
“It is also good to be back between the sticks and I have a good working relationship with Thela Ngobeni,” he added. “Ngobeni is an experienced goalkeeper and he has been around, he knows the league inside out.
“I must say that I’ve found the PSL is very competitive, there are no easy pushovers teams, you work hard for your points.”