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Shabba – The Difference Between Mofokeng & Chiefs Youngsters

Kaizer Chiefs legend Siphiwe Tshabalala has given his reasons why youngsters at his former side aren’t doing as well as Orlando Pirates’ Relebohile Mofokeng.

The former Bafana Bafana attacker highlighted the 19-year-old’s meteoric rise at Pirates this campaign. His performances have not gone unnoticed as he’s earned himself a call-up to Hugo Broos’ FIFA World Cup Qualifiers squad, while his Chiefs counterpart Mduduzi Shabalala has found the going tough at Naturena.

Speaking to iDiski Times senior journalist Lorenz Köhler, in the latest edition of the newspaper, ‘Shabba’ gave an insight on the differences at the two clubs, explaining why Mofokeng is thriving while others like Shabalala are somewhat not reaching their ceiling.

“Conversation is key mostly with young players,” Tshabalala told iDiski Times.

“I’ll give examples, Mofokeng is playing well, and is a regular, he’s getting game-time, which is good for him, good for football [in the country]. And he looks like he’s in an environment where he’s being guided, where he’s being mentored and also being protected.

ALSO READ: Mdu – Why It’s Easier For Mofokeng At Pirates Than Me At Chiefs

“And now he’s at a level where he can be thrown into the deep end. You can only improve when you play, you cannot improve on the bench and when you’re not a regular.

“With Chiefs it’s a bit different now because of the situation. I said it before, there are good players at Chiefs, the club doesn’t have bad players, the challenge is that they don’t have a team. There’s no structure currently, there’s no identity, it looks more reliant on individual brilliance [to win games] more than a team structure and it becomes a problem for the youngsters when they are promoted to the first team, because they come into an environment where the team is not doing well, not winning.

“And now when they are being introduced as well, they get lost because there’s no structure or identity, they don’t even know what patterns of play, style of play. So when they play, they’re [doing] things relying on their talent, rather than the structure of the team. They come into a tough environment, with pressure, a lot of criticism, so that’s where mentorship is required, a lot of conversations are needed to prepare them, keep them grounded and also to let them know they are good players, they are capable of being great players,” Shabba added.

The Buccaneers have had another stellar season, winning the MTN8 trophy and advancing to the final of the Nedbank Cup to be staged next month. Chiefs on the other hand are on a nine-year trophy drought run.

You can read Shabba’s full interview with Köhler in edition 155 of the newspaper for FREE when you subscribe to the IDiski Times WhatsApp channel.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.