Throwback Thursday: Andile Cele

Posted: 18 January 2018 Time: 13:00

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Andile Cele says he'll forever be grateful to his ex-teammate Gerald Raphahlela for keeping him grounded at the Buccaneers.

Cele, who was nicknamed 'Sguda', was signed by Pirates in 2001 from Maritzburg City. He was part of Roy Barreto's side that won the league title in 2001/2002.

However, he was troubled by long-term injuries and picked up weight, prompting him to retire at the relatively young age of 29.  

Cele, who obtained a CAF B coaching license, has been coaching Maritzburg City in Pietermaritzburg in the ABC Motsepe League since 2010. 

He also heads the club's academy, working with Under-11s, U-14s, and U-17s.

“The guy who made a difference in my life was Gerald Raphahlela,” Cele tells KickOff.com

“That guy was my roommate. He was like a father to me. I'm married, responsible and I'm a coach who leads by example because of such guys that I met in my football life. In the room [in camp] you'll read. When we were at the airport and playing away we used to buy magazines about life and stuff.

“He kept me grounded. Guys like Innocent Chikoya and Bruce Ramokgadi also made a difference in my life. Others also were Willem Jackson, Jerry Sikhosana, Godfrey Sapula and Benedict 'Tso' Vilakazi.

Cele, who attended coaching courses under the late Ted Dumitru, has made played a key role in the careers of Ajax Cape Town striker Sedwyn George, Kaizer Chiefs left-back Philani Zulu and Siphesihle Ndlovu of Maritzburg United. 

“Some of the players I worked with include this boy who is doing well at Maritzburg United, Siphesihle Ndlovu. I worked with him for two seasons and he was our captain,” he says.

“Philani Zulu, now at Kaizer Chiefs, I found him here and his career was not looking good. I helped revive his career and he played for me for a season-and-a-half. Sedwyn George, the striker now at Ajax Cape Town, I also worked with him. We went to the ABC Motsepe League national playoffs in Polokwane where we had the likes of Baroka FC but we failed to progress to the NFD in 2012.

“In those playoffs, Roses FC were promoted when they were under John Tlale and I think the other team was Milano FC. But I've worked with a number of youngsters who are now doing well.

“I'm a firm believer in playing football the right way and Maritzburg City has that culture. I've been tasked to make sure that it stays the same and maybe we can get back to the big leagues. But it's not easy because the ABC Motsepe League is a very tough league.

"I've been very happy with the progress one has made so far in helping individuals.”

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Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala

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