Xulu Reveals How Davids Helped Him Recover From Chiefs Disaster
Siyanda Xulu will line up in his first cup final in almost three years this weekend, and he says that Fadlu Davids is to thank for his recovery from a disastrous spell with Kaizer Chiefs.
Maritzburg United have been one of the fairytale stories of the 2017/18 season as they achieved their highest ever league finish and reached the first final in their history, with Xulu – a free agent – playing a vital role in their success.
The 26-year-old was given just six appearances in the Absa Premiership during a two-season spell with the Glamour Boys, but went on to play 29 out of 30 matches in the most recent campaign under the tutelage of Davids back in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal, and will now do battle in the Nedbank Cup final.
“The reason I came here is for coach Fadlu,” he told the club’s official website. “He reminded me of how good I am. It was a very rough patch for me, training alone, one can lose enthusiasm for the game.
“It's emotional for me to think back what has happened the last few seasons. The hype, the expectations of coming back home. All the bad stuff that was said about me, not doing well for Chiefs. Me thinking I was not given a fair chance.
“The call from Fadlu changed everything. He told me how he would suit me as a player. He told me to work hard and get back on my feet. He promised he would help make me one of the best defenders in South Africa again.”
And Xulu isn’t happy with just having a good season, he’s got his sights set on lifting the trophy this weekend and bringing down the curtain on the campaign with a piece of silverware.
He added, “It was one of my best decisions ever, for myself, for my family. It was a gamble, but one I was willing to take. For a long time, I didn’t have anyone tell me how good I am. So I took it as a challenge, to show myself I can do it, and it has worked out well for everyone.
“So Saturday will be very emotional for me, knowing what is at stake. I have to win it, for Fadlu, for myself, for my family. Being back home has also been great for me, playing in front of my family and friends every home game, it’s very special.”
The game is due to get underway at 19h00 at Cape Town Stadium, with the first 10 000 fans to purchase their tickets being given a buy one get one free offer.