Maritzburg United forward, Orlando Smeekes, has reserved high praise for coach, Steve Komphela, following his improved recent form for the club.
The 32-year-old has bagged two goals in 2014 including a potential Goal of the Season contender against Golden Arrows recently. It seems Komphela's decision to use Smeekes as more of a number nine appears to be bearing some fruit.
Despite his advanced years as an attacking player, the Netherlands-born player has at times been able to hurt opponents with his pace and athleticism.
The Dutchman has gone on record to credit Komphela for his recent upturn in form. During the first half of the campaign, Smeekes scored just one goal during a period in which the player struggled with injuries and some indifferent form.
In addition, the veteran performer who has been at Maritzburg since the start of the 2012/13 season, will see his contract come to an end in June. This means his improving form could possibly win him a new deal.
Nonetheless, the Amsterdam-native praised his coach for his improving form. He said,
“The way we’re playing now fits me. The coach knows my strengths. He knows how to use me best. My best role is when I’m in a freer role upfront. I think Steve likes me and I think I’ve proved it also. He doesn’t treat you just as a soccer player, he gets involved with your personal life. It’s a good thing that he is like this. If a coach is too hard, I can’t perform well. Look, if you put me in the role which I love to play as a free striker like I did in Europe, I can move anywhere I want. I just have to make the movement forward with the running. I don’t think PSL defenders like to play against me. I always have the mentality to win. I just want to fight on the field and run to make them have a miserable day, hey. They always make one or two mistakes and always in a game I get two or three chances. It’s really because you can’t defend speed.”