Vladislav Heric recounts rise of Mazembe's Given Singuluma ahead of Confederation Cup final with SuperSport
Posted: 15 November 2017 Time: 18:45
Vladislav Heric believes Given Singuluma’s horror experience with South African football a decade ago shaped him into the player that he has grown to be at Congolese powerhouse TP Mazembe.
Singuluma joined Bay United – then a Port Elizabeth First Division club – well into the 2006-07 season. He started four games (plus seven substitute appearances) and ended without a goal to his name.
Then for the 2007-08 season Singuluma only made two substitute outings as Bay won promotion to the PSL via the Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs and was then released at the end of that campaign.
He went to ZANACO for a year and then joined TP Mazembe in 2009 and has since won the CAF Champions League thrice, Confederation Cup once and CAF Super Cup thrice, while he has been a league champion in Congo seven times.
Through all of Singuluma’s time at Bay – Heric was the coach.
“He was an inexperienced youngster back,” remembers Heric.
“Then there discipline-related issues with him. He got injured and ignored the advice of the medical team choosing to go to the national team instead. Then when he came back after two weeks continued being injured for much of the rest of the season. At that time it was difficult for him to break into the team because he was down the pecking order in the attacking positions. Plus the team was winning and it wouldn’t have made sense to break that rhythm.
“After he left he did get in touch with me via Facebook and apologised for the way he had conducted himself while at Bay. So there was no one bitter about it at the end and I am happy that he has since made so much progress in his career. Truth be told him not playing at Bay had nothing to do with not being good enough. It was down to the mistakes that he made at a young age which is normal for anyone who is still a teenager,” explains Heric.
Singuluma will be of significance to South Africa this weekend as SuperSport United travel to Lubumbashi to play Mazembe in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final.