DoRego's Revolving Blog
02 November 2012
This week we hear from Tintswalo Tshabalala of Platinum Stars
What I can say is that our preparation at training was spot on ahead of the 4-0 win over Free State Stars. The coach told us that this is how they were going to play and, to prevent them from hurting us, we needed to play a certain way. To be honest with you, we weren’t expecting to score as many goals as we did. Beating a quality side like Free State Stars by such a huge score line shows that there is some improvement in the team and we are becoming more dangerous in attack.
It has hurt us, to be out of the Telkom Knockout Cup, you know. Those who watched our game against AmaZulu will agree that we were beaten through our mistakes and not because they dominated us. We have learnt a lot from that game that if we don’t capitalise on our chances, teams will hurt us in the end. We must make sure that if we don’t score, the opposition team mustn’t score either. As for not playing this coming weekend, I don’t think it will affect us because our momentum is high. On Monday at training, you wouldn’t think we had just won a game. No one was in a relaxed mode and the guys were pushing hard. That shows that the guys are focused on achieving things.
For me, it was a new start in my career after I left Black Leopards. I had been at Leopards for some time, so it was time for a change. I came from Soweto and went to play in Limpopo, so kahle kahle (actually) it was time to come back to Gauteng. It’s not like maybe I fought with them! No. They understood the decision that I took as a footballer, you have to grow in your career. We didn’t have a fight and I left with their blessing. I don’t want to lie, they treated me well during my time there. Things have been going well so far at Platinum Stars. I can’t complain because the welcome that I got from the guys was the best. I didn’t feel like I first needed to adjust. Some of the guys are from Soweto, where I come from, and we have known each other for a while. That made things a bit easier for me. You will also remember that I played with Robert Ng’ambi at Black Leopards, so it didn’t really take me long to adjust.
Look, at Leopards it was okay, but in terms of the professionalism...at Platinum Stars you won’t go wrong. I don’t want to lie! Platinum Stars is the best team in South Africa when it comes to the training facilities. Even the medical team...yho, it’s top class stuff! Even if you have a slight injury like a sore thumb, they don’t risk it. You have to stay out until it’s healed. It’s not like at other clubs where the doctor will tell you that you can play.
To tell you the truth, Cavin Johnson is one of the coaches that believes in his players. He doesn’t have favourites. If you work hard at training, he gives you a chance. If you look at our team, the starting line-up changes because he’s giving everyone a chance. It’s up to you whether you grab that chance or not. So far he’s been a good coach for us.
Okay, we have lost out on the Telkom Knockout, so now we’d like to reach the final of the Nedbank Cup. If we can finish in the top five in the league as well, I would be the happiest man because I haven’t played for a team that’s gone on to finish in the top five. I would be happy to win the league though and it’s possible. I think every footballer’s wish in South Africa is to have a league winner’s medal. That shows you’ve worked hard. It’s my second season in the PSL and so far I’ve been enjoying it because it’s not like the First Division. In the PSL they give you a lot of space and it’s easy to express yourself, whereas in the First Division it’s tight. In the PSL it’s up to you whether you want to show people that you have the talent. It’s all up to you! It’s easy for individual brilliance to come through.
Thuso Phala and I are close and when I make a mistake, he won’t hide it from me. He will tell me, “Ntwana, sowenza into e wrong (you’re doing something wrong).” In the first three or four games he wasn’t performing at his best like the Thuso we know, and I kept on telling him, “Ntwana, lungisa (correct your mistakes).” I think his form has come back. I don’t think he wants to prove a point to anyone, but I think he owes it to himself. I don’t know... maybe he wasn’t given a chance to play at the big teams, but I think he’s a good player and there’s more to come from him.
The supporters must come to the stadium in their numbers because we need their support. They shouldn’t stay at home, and we players promise them that we will deliver!