Vilakazi – McCarthy Was The Troublemaker For Me…
Congratulations to Msekeli Ntola whose emailed submission on ‘Life Happens’ was selected by Capitec as the best story to come in from a Soccer Laduma reader. As this month’s winner, Msekeli was able to submit a list of players - current and legends - that he would like to have answered his questions. Tso Vilakazi was on that list and was more than happy to field questions submitted to him by Msekeli. Soccer Laduma put Msekeli’s great questions to Tso, which resulted in the Q & A published in this week’s edition of Soccer Laduma where Tso talks about his role while playing at Orlando Pirates, explains why Fabian McCarthy was his toughest opponent and why he would never want to have played as a striker.
An excerpt from the interview with Tso Vilakazi in this week’s paper:
Msekeli question: Bra Tso, at your local club, Orlando Pirates, your teammates regarded you as a fantastic player, why was that?
Tso: Firstly thank you for choosing me as one of the players you wanted to ask questions to as your reward. As for your first question Msekeli, I think when it comes to gaining the respect of your teammates you have to be the one to show them that you understand you are part of a team and you are a team player. So I would always try communicating with them on and off the field to get an understanding of what they needed from me, not just what I needed from that. That way no matter how big your name or fame, you show them that you are only as good as they allow you to be.
Msekeli question: In the midfield, wearing jersey 15, playing with Thapelo Liau, Steve Lekeolea, Lebohang Mokoena, who was your favourite player to play with?
Tso: It’s a tough question to answer Msekeli. All of them had different qualities. It’s hard to pick one. We had combinations that worked differently and each combination had its place if you can understand what I’m saying. For us to win we needed each of those different combinations to work for us. My role was all about being a link between deep midfielders and our strikers. So I achieved that through all these combinations.
Msekeli question: When you played against the ‘Amakhosi’, who did you fear the most or could be a troublemaker for you?
Tso: Fabian McCarthy was the troublemaker for me. The reason was I actually didn’t do a lot of running with the ball. If you watch carefully you will see I had few touches, and it was actually the spaces that I ran into to receive the ball that made me effective. Fabian was one of the few players that restricted or denied me the space that I wanted to run into. It was very frustrating. In terms of a midfielder, it was Thabo Mooki and the late Bra Shoes who were very difficult opponents to play against because they were so clever. Usually, my assignment was to stop those guys from playing. Stop them and you stop Chiefs. The funny thing was that when the other Chiefs players saw me doing a defensive job, they tended to forget about me when we were going forward and that actually helped create space for me to hurt them at times. They were so focused on the late Gift (Leremi) or (Lesley) Manyethela that they forgot about me.
Make sure to go get this week’s edition to see Tso answer the rest of Msekeli’s questions and stand a chance to have your questions answered by a legend or a current player entering here.
To see last month’s winner’s interview with former Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper, Rowen Fernandez, click here.