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HomeDStv PremiershipZothwane Identifies Three PSL Talents As Potential Superstars

Zothwane Identifies Three PSL Talents As Potential Superstars

Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Papi Zothwane says there’s a lack of creative players being developed in local football, but outlined three who could potentially dazzle crowds like himself, Teko Modise and Doctor Khumalo.

Zothwane, 43, is currently in the process of acquiring his CAF B License and has been in the coaching scene in recent years with Uthongathi and Polokwane City.

But during his playing career, he was an exquisite talent, a lanky midfielder, who in his prime, was almost unplayable in midfield.

He spent a decade in the top flight with Marizrburg City, Golden Arrows, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Bloemfontein Celtic before moving into the coaching space and while it’s not been an easy ride, there’s been some lessons he’s picked up.

“One thing I’ve seen, during my playing days we had freedom of expression on the field, sometimes in the process you are the one who is shining but at the end of the day, it’s about the team,” Zothwane said.

“I’ve learnt in coaching it’s the team first and then you after [as a player], now in football, the actions are quicker, you need to spend less time on the ball, coaches have different demands, the game is about results, it’s evolved to another level.

“Even the laws of the game have changed, now it’s about the team [not individual brilliance] so the game has changed, transitional players, fewer touches on the ball, but I still want to see us as coaches, creating more creative players.

“It’s not nice for me to coach players where I don’t see the creativity of my former self [in the game], Doctor Khumalo, Teko Modise, you want to have those special players and I think that what we don’t have, we don’t have those special players we used to have.

“We’re seeing Siyabonga Mabena, you getting excited about Mduduzi Shabalala, Relebohile Mofokeng, to have these players, we need to [invest in them], coaches now are focusing on results and forgetting to groom the players South African people want to see.”

Zothwane who won the 2004 PSL Rookie of the Year, a year after the late Gift Leremi, was once the talent that caught the eye of supporters, in the same manner, the three young talents have captivated the imagination of the public.

“Football is about entertainment, have fun, if you take that away, it’s why you see people preferring to watch games on TV, we must bring the excitement back and it starts with us as coaches, we need to improve scouting too,” he added.

“We can’t say because this one is dribbler, he can’t work [hard] – as coaches, it’s our job, to make them do what we want. But we must create players, that fans want to see on the field.”

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.
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