Kaizer Chiefs interim coach Arthur Zwane has sent a strong message to the current crop of football players after Dumisani Zuma’s suspension.
Amakhosi picked their first victory under Zwane since he – together with Dillon Sheppard – took over from Stuart Baxter after beating Marumo Gallants 1-0 at FNB Stadium on Tuesday.
The Glamour Boys entered the game on the back of a four-match run of successive defeats but the headlines were somewhat stolen by Dumisani Zuma, who was suspended for a second time this season by the club.
Zwane didn’t hold back when discussing the ill-discipline of the current crop of footballers and some need to look in the mirror and ask if they make enough out of their career.
“Discipline is everything. I’ve always been saying it to the players, discipline doesn’t only start on the field, it starts off the field,” he said on Tuesday.
“If you want to make it big in life, you have to be disciplined. Discipline includes a lot of things, you have to be tactically disciplined inside the field, life in general you have to be disciplined, you have to show dedication. You have to persevere because nothing comes easy in life. You could see, we’ve had to grind a result today.
“So these players, if they they don’t have discipline, not only Kaizer Chiefs players, any soccer players, the football career is a very, very short one. That’s why you have to be focussed, you have to be disciplined. You have to have a lot of passion for the game as well.
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“There is no way the game can love you, if you don’t love it. You have to embrace it, you have to show a lot of commitment and respect for the game. And I can tell you, those are the things that can take you far as a player.
“Then that discipline will be starting from outside not to inside, then that player can easily take instructions and listen to the coaches. But if a player is not disciplined outside – it starts with nutrition, the food that we eat, to build that body in order for you to be in a super condition, give your best all the time.
“If the players are being told to eat a certain type of food for some reasons and then they don’t do that, then they don’t take football seriously because to prolong your career, then you going to have to be disciplined off the field and when you then given the opportunity on the field you can run for 90 minutes because you are fresh, focussed because you sleep early.
“You show a lot of dedication and respect for other people and when things are rosy for you, you still keep your feet on the ground, you are level-headed, all those things, they play a huge role in one to be successful.
“Once you take life for granted, gone are the days where we going to come here and we’ll be begging players to play football, they have a choice. When we were playing, we were not getting [as much] in terms of salary and support, we’re not getting what these players were getting today.
“If you can look at Kaizer Chiefs, in particular, our marketing department what the do for the boys, every season we have this type of training and sessions, just to prepare them and we also have media sessions with them. Those are the things that when they started implementing those things, we were about to quit, we were old already.
“These boys are going through those sessions almost every year, they’re part of the induction. They can’t tell us that they come here and not make it big. It comes down to one thing discipline and not anything else. If you are disciplined you’ll go far in life.”