This week’s DoRego’s revolving blog features AmaZulu’s Tapuwa Kapini.
It was a good result for us, the 2-1 win over Moroka Swallows, and a motivation for the players. Since coming to South Africa, this is the first time I’ve collected maximum points against Moroka Swallows, so you can imagine how happy I was after the game! It’s an achievement on its own for the AmaZulu technical department and players. We badly needed to win that game and luckily things went our way. It was like a six-pointer because, if you look at it, we’ve jumped from the bottom of the log to a couple of places up. It was just unbelievable, we are happy with it and we just have to look forward and not backwards. I read that the Swallows coach felt they should have won the game, but if you look at it, Swallows didn’t create more chances than us. We had more chances than them! We were the better side on the day and that’s why we won. The team that deserved to win was us. Everything that we have been working on is starting to show now, you know. We’re taking it one game at a time. So we are very, very happy. The coach was just glad that we came away with maximum points and with the way we are playing. I think this is our second away win this season, so he was also delighted about that.
On the Platinum Stars game, it’s a very crucial game and that’s not just because they are my former team. Platinum Stars are contending for the Absa Premiership title, so it’s going to be difficult to beat them. They are looking for maximum points and, looking at where we are, nothing less than three points will be acceptable for us. From fifth position downwards, there’s only an eight-point difference. We are looking to qualify for the top eight and we are going to work hard against Stars. They are a professional side and they have a good coach. These days they are very different from the past couple of seasons. They are trying to pass the ball and trying to do everything. This has been one of Henrico Botes’ best seasons so far. He’s been scoring and creating goals, so I can say he’s been the main man for them. Thuso Phala has been a key player as well. You can never discount Benson Mhlongo’s leadership, and they also have guys like Enocent Mkhabela and Mogakolodi Ngele. You know, they’ve been playing as a team since Cavin Johnson took over. It’s going to be one helluva game and we hope that we will take all three points.
All I can say is that the guys were unlucky under Roger Palmgren. You know, in football sometimes it’s about luck, and I think we were unlucky not to win some games. The other thing is my injury because I’ve been the backbone of the team since last season. It played a major role in the team not doing well because if maybe I wasn’t injured I’d have done something. I’m not taking anything away from the other goalkeepers, but my leadership is always needed in the team. It was frustrating when the team wasn’t doing well and I knew I could help, but there was nothing I could do about it. The results were very, very disappointing as well. We weren’t winning, as we were either drawing or losing. There were games when I would say to myself, “I wish! I wish!” But it wasn’t meant to be. I was just supporting every player who was playing and telling them, “Guys, let’s keep on fighting. The situation we are in isn’t a joke.” If you look at it, we were in the relegation zone from the first day of the season until last month when Chippa United ‘took over’, so it wasn’t a joke.
Everyone was disappointed about losing to Tembu Royals in the Nedbank Cup – the technical staff, the players and the directors. It was an opportunity for us as players to make big bucks, because you know in cup games it’s all about bucks. We are disappointed as a team, but it’s one of those games where you say maybe it’s a blessing in disguise that we are out so that we can concentrate on the league, like we are doing at the moment. We were looking forward to going all the way, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m sure next season we’ll do better. I don’t think we lost on purpose, because even if you are in the relegation zone you want to participate in those cup games. If we had won the cup, we’d have qualified to play in Africa next season. Everyone wants to play in Africa! But the better team on the day won. Tembu Royals did their homework and beat us 2-1, so credit to them.
When you are coming back from injury, you’ll be scared for the first two or three games and you’ll think that maybe if you put in more effort you will get injured again. But for now I’m 100% fit and that’s all thanks to the medical staff...Divan Augustyn and these guys...for getting me to the level of fitness I’m at. Since I came back, I’ve played four games and conceded three goals. I think it’s one of the best comebacks for me. I think in the seven matches I’ve started this season, I’ve conceded three goals, and that’s a good ratio!
It’s all about working hard to avoid relegation, baba. If we keep on working hard and achieve good results, we’ll reach our target. Whether we play away or at home, we should aim for nothing less than three points. We mustn’t ask for favours from other teams, but look at what AmaZulu can do. People can expect good football from us. Working as a team is the key and we’ll keep on winning games.
The coach has been working on our strikers at training as well as on the final pass to resolve the goal scoring problems. Maybe the final pass has not been coming well to them, but they’ve also been working on their concentration and composure in the box. If you look at our two goals against Swallows, it shows there’s something we’ve learnt. I think if we bring that attitude to every game, we can score more goals. We are happy now that at least we are starting to score two goals per game and we aren’t conceding at the back.
They are fantastic fans, our supporters. Since I came to AmaZulu I’ve never heard them boo players. All we need is their encouragement, as they are like our 12th player. We need them most at this stage and we hope we’ll deliver the way they expect us to on the pitch.