Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, Themba Zwane, has spoken about the motivation he received from Clive Barker when he played under him at Mpumalanga Black Aces, during his loan stint with the side last season.
Following his lack of game-time at Sundowns, Zwane left for AmaZayoni where he made a staggering 25 league starts for the team.
Barker guided the side to seventh-place finish on the Absa Premiership log in their first season back in the league.
“You can see when I went to Mpumalanga Black Aces from Mamelodi Sundowns on loan that my confidence was low. When I got there, Clive motivated me. He told me to focus on just playing because I was the best player. He said that I must just go on the field and try and do what comes naturally.
"He made me believe in myself. He motivated me by comparing me to Doctor. The belief flooded back and my confidence was high. I’m grateful he gave me that chance and opportunity,” Zwane told Soccer Laduma.
The Tembisa-born player felt honoured about being compared to South African football legends, such as Doctor Khumalo and Shoes Moshoeu by the 1996 AFCON-winning coach at Aces.
“Ja… ey… I feel shocked. I felt that pressure when he compared me to Doctor because people started to say, “Who is this Themba and what can he do?” Look, I was happy he compared me to such players because they are legends. They are truly great players,” explained Zwane.