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AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson has hailed Jabulani Ncobeni's performances this season

Posted: 4 November 2017 Time: 14:00

AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson feels Jabulani Ncobeni is starting to display the talent and flair he showed for Thanda Royal Zulu when they won the NFD title last season.

Ncobeni made a difference in Usuthu's 1-1 draw with log leaders Baroka in midweek, as he fainted a run in the box before flicking the ball up for Rhulani Manzini, who slotted a spectacular overhead kick to cancel out Gift Motupa's opener from the spot at King Zwelithini Stadium.

The former Maritzburg United midfielder was the chief destroyer on September 20 against reigning champions Bidvest Wits where Manzini again benefited from his tricks. He also gave Mamelodi Sundowns a lot to think about when AmaZulu defeated Pitso Mosimane’s side in Pretoria two weeks ago.

Last term for the now-defunct Thanda, who finished the season without a home loss, his combination with Mhlengi Cele, Mphakamiseni Nene and Kgotso Malope was devastating. It was not surprising that when AmaZulu bought Thanda’s PSL status during the off-season he was one of the players to be retained.

“I think at the moment he [Ncobeni] is only coming off age," said Johnson.

"‘JB’ has been in the set-up for a while and I think he played fantastically for Thanda Royal Zulu last season. It is now the time for him to showcase in the PSL what he’s capable of doing. I just hope that he’s able to get to another level.

"As a midfielder or as winger, I just pray that he scores more goals. That will add to his capabilities, that’ll add to the flair that he's got within the team. But the team is not made of one player. If he doesn’t get the ball he should track back. But he’s doing well for the team and we got to appreciate the next level he’s taking it to.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has accepted his team will only be in action again when they host Kaizer Chiefs on November 22. The Telkom Knockout quarter-finals are this weekend followed by the FIFA international break.

“For me football is such a popular game in the world that these things happen to everybody,” said Johnson.

“For us it’s about going back and getting the science of the game to a better level because you always have the Olympics coming, you always have the World Cup coming up, you’ve got the AFCON, and everybody wants to qualify for those things.

“Because of the amount of money that has been put in, the amount of television that has been done on it, the amount of players that move during those competitions - that’s what players, that’s what administrators, that’s what us as coaches we look for.

“So we are going to go back and seriously look at the science of the game and on how we maintain. The bottom line is how professional are the players and that’s got to improve as well.”

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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